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December 4, 2011

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Home » Feature » Art and Culture

Drum troupe bangs away

SHANGHAI East Jiangzhou Drum Company is trying to revive traditional drum art by adding modern touches.

During the company's performances on December 12-13 at People Grand Theater, 12 jade drums with Chinese dragon carvings will be presented on stage. The carvings are to celebrate the coming Year of the Dragon.

Water drums, laser crystal drums, blue and white porcelain drums and diamond-shaped drums will also be on display.

Quan Junmin, director of Shanghai East Jiangzhou Drum Company, says you have to find new ways to attract young people.

"Traditional arts are not that appealing to many young people today, but a creative performance may change this," Quan says.

The company will perform the songs "Chinese Dragon," "Dreams," "Flying Up" and "Hundred Drum Waves."

The 12 jade drums feature dragon sculptures on the side and carp sculptures on the bottom.

"Jade, dragons and carp are lucky symbols in Chinese culture, which inspired us to create this series for the coming new year," Quan says.

Traditional drum art from Jiangzhou County, Shanxi Province is an intangible cultural heritage in China. The drummers are known for using all parts of the drum to make a variety of sounds.

Shanghai East Jiangzhou Drum Company was established about 10 years ago as a way to better develop the traditional art. All the performers are from remote mountainous areas with strong drum traditions in Shanxi.

The company's previous creations - water drums, laser drums and porcelain drums - have helped popularize the art in recent years. Quan hopes the jade drums build on this success.

Date: December 12-13, 7:30pm

Venue: People Grand Theater

Address: 663 Jiujiang Rd

Tickets: 80-380 yuan (US$12.5-59)

Tel: 6217-2426, 6217-3055


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