xiangsheng

(cross-talk, comic dialogue)
Xiangsheng is a traditional form of Chinese comic dialogue which can traced back to the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). It is translated as ‘cross-talk’, but because it refers to two performers talking to each other in a comic way, it is also translated as ‘comic dialogue’. Xiangsheng usually consist of a story or stories with one or several subjects. Sometimes xiangsheng is performed by one person (dankou xiangsheng), sometimes by a group of people (qunkou xiangsheng). Unlike Western standup comedy, which often consists of a string of one-liners that switch from topic to topic, a xiangsheng piece has a beginning, development and ending. This popular linguistic art tends to be more reserved and conservative than Western comedy. Its puns, homonyms, homophones, neologisms, cultural code words and phrases, use of dialect, and other language-based humour also make xiangsheng very difficult to translate with any degree of satisfaction. Xiangsheng reflects history and everyday life.
It can be used to praise the CCP and government policies or to satirize social maladies. A piece called ‘Yaogun shunkouliu’ [Rock’n’roll Doggerel] satirizes corruption. Xiangsheng performers are almost all men, but women have also appeared, first in Taiwan and now on the mainland. On 8 March 1992, over forty pairs of women participated in the first ‘Spark Cup’ female xiangsheng competition in Beijing, marking International Women’s Day. The oldest were two grandmothers in their seventies, the youngest a first-grade pupil. Occasionally you may still catch Mark Rowswell, or Dashan (Big Mountain), a Canadian fluent in the Beijing vernacular, cross-talking with his Chinese partner.
Kaikonen, Marja (1990). Laughable Propaganda: Modern Xiangsheng as Didactic Entertainment. Stockholm: Institute of Oriental Languages.
HELEN XIAOYAN WU

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Xiangsheng — (zh tsp|t=|s=|p=xiàngsheng), sometimes translated as crosstalk, is a traditional Chinese comedic performance in the form of a dialogue or, much less often, a monologue or, even less frequently, a multi player talk show. The language, rich in puns …   Wikipedia

  • xiǎngshēng — [ref dict= Universal (Ch Ru) ]响声[/ref] …   Chinese phonetic list

  • xiàngsheng — [ref dict= Universal (Ch Ru) ]相声[/ref] …   Chinese phonetic list

  • 响声 — xiǎngsheng [sound; noise] 由听觉器官得到的感觉或印象 沙沙的响声 …   Advanced Chinese dictionary

  • 庠生 — xiángshēng [student] 科举时代称府州县学的生员 不才姓刘, 今年二十三岁。 府城益都县庠生也。 《豆棚闲话》 …   Advanced Chinese dictionary

  • 相声 — xiàngsheng [comic dialogue; cross talk] 曲艺的一种。 按演员人数, 其形式分为单口、 对口、 群口等, 以说、 学、 逗、 唱为其主要表现手段, 通过幽默、 滑稽的言语和表演引人发笑 …   Advanced Chinese dictionary

  • 相生 — xiāngshēng [interpromoting relation in five elements] 五行学说术语。 借木、 火、 土、 金、 水五种物质之间互相滋生和促进的关系。 来说明脏腑相互协调的生理现象。 其次序是木生火、 火生土, 土生金, 金生水, 水生木 …   Advanced Chinese dictionary

  • 象声 — xiàngshēng [onomatopoeia; imitive words] 摹拟事物的声音 …   Advanced Chinese dictionary

  • Han Lao Da — Infobox Person name = Han Lao Da 韩劳达 image size = 220px birth name = Ann Jong Juan zh s|s=linktext|韩|永|元 zh p|p=Hán Yǒng Yuán birth date = birth date and age|1947|10|22 birth place = Singapore nationality = flagicon|Singapore Singaporean other… …   Wikipedia

  • Dashan — (Mark Rowswell) hosting a live broadcast for China Central Television in November 2006 Born Mark Henry Rowswell May 23, 1965 (1965 05 23) (age 46) Ottawa, Ontario …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.