Mr. Wang (He is called Lao Wang by his friends in Chinese) and his old buddies formed a Qinqiang amateur club to enrich his time after his retirement. It’s not a formal club, but an amateur one with several members who all love Shaanxi local opera Qinqiang and could play the relative instruments.
Qinqiang has been one of oldest opera in ancient northwest China, derived from West Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC-771 BC) and got popular in Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia and Xinjiang. This opera differs from Beijing Opera or some southern ones, strikes people with its outstanding features: high-pitched and resounding tones, distinctive rhythms, systematical actor category, mainly historical materials based, short and easy-to-understand language and so on. And going to Xan Yisu Qinqiang Opera Theater to apprecaite this ancient opera is the welcomed activity for some toursits in their Xian tour.
Amateur clubs about Qinqiang has been prevalent in Shaanxi land for years as a simple but helpful way to develop and keep such a great folk culture. It doesn’t need a stage and lighting – the corner of a park or at the foot of City Wall, a patch at side of a road……it doesn’t need professional equipments—a couple of chairs and several basical instruments are enough to perform Qinqiang; it even doesn’t need lots of audiences—the performers are also the viewers.
Usually, the members of Qinqiang amateur clubs are old people and some Qinqiang goers who are allowed to pay much time, energy and enthusiasm on it, just like Lao Wang and his old fellows. Lao Wang enjoys the time spent with his friends about his loved Qingqiang opera. The corner at the foot of Xian City Wall is one of frequently performing places for their club. It seems that their excitable voice of uttering the essence of this old art would wander farer with the thick City Wall as a supporting back. The landmark of Xian—City Wall has got used to witness those lovely guys gathering around it and people also used to walk, or sit, or gather to have a Qinqiang performance near it, too.