Minutes of “Evening to Sum Up the Conclusions from the Stay of the Theatre of Mei Lanfang in the Soviet Union” at The All-Union Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries (VOKS) on Sunday, 14 April 1935

Janne Risum (Translator)

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Abstract

In 1935 the Chinese male performer of female roles, Mei Lanfang, toured the Soviet Union to much acclaim. By way of conclusion, a panel discussion took place with prominent Russian stage and film personalities on lessons to be learned from the tour and from traditional Chinese theatre in general. However, the discussion minutes were subsequently so effectively suppressed by the Soviet authorities that they have been the object of myth and—at the most—of selective publication ever since. Below the full minutes are published for the first time in any language, in a scholarly edition preceded with an introduction to their significance and history as a source.
Janne Risum is Emeritus Associate Professor of Dramaturgy at Aarhus University, Denmark. She has published widely in English and other languages on past and present theatre and acting in Europe and in Asia, including on Meyerhold and on gender issues. Her dissertation in English on the Soviet tour of Mei Lanfang in 1935 and its effects, The Mei Lanfang Effect (2008), was based on extensive archive studies in Russia and elsewhere, as are her subsequent follow-up articles exploring complementary aspects of this seminal event. She is presently preparing a correspondingly extended concluding book on the subject.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAsian Theatre Journal
Volume37
Issue2
Pages (from-to)328-375
Number of pages48
ISSN0742-5457
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

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