Encountering the Alienated Self: Hip-Hop Jingju Chasing Chinese Wind in Contemporary Legend Theatre’s 108 Heroes

  • Ivy I-Chu Chang


Wu Hsing-kuo and Contemporary Legend Theatre’s 108 Heroes of Water Margin I (2007) and 108 Heroes of Water Margin II (2011), adaptations from a Chinese classical by Shi Nai’an (施耐庵 1296–1372), Outlaws of Water Margin, combine jingju (a national theatrical form in Taiwan), hip-hop, rock and roll, and Western total theater, attracting a large young audience who have never attended jingju theater. This chapter investigates how Wu and the Contemporary Legend Theatre’s innovation of jingju have been entangled with Chinese or Taiwanese nationalism; and how 108 Heroes of Water Margin I and II attract young audiences, creating a cultural phenomenon. Chang probes crucial questions: interweaving hip-hop and Chinese Wind (zhongguo feng) into an eclectic concert-like performance, will the Chinese or Taiwanese audiences’ encounters with the Chinese symbols and images that have been mixed with Western pop music and Japanese Ukiyo-i (wooden painting) costumes give them a sense of déjà disparu and reengage them in a cultural past that has never been and is yet to come? Will the performance outflank the pace with a subject always on the point of disappearing or emerging? Will the replication machine appealing to the Asian market produce the symbols of the real and short circuit the vicissitude?


Jingju Hip-hop Chinese Wind Contemporary Legend Theatre Asian theater Brecht 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivy I-Chu Chang
    • 1
  1. 1.National Chiao Tung UniversityHsinchuTaiwan

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