Chinese Opera as a Tool of Soft Power

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


This talk argued that performances given by visiting Chinese opera troupes to the UK from the late 1970s onwards correlate with the market reform that led China towards greater internationalism following the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). Although the artistic decisions behind the intercultural experiments from the 1980s and 90s were not explicitly connected to PRC government initiatives, and were motivated as much by aesthetic concerns as political ones, Dr Ashley Thorpe nevertheless argues that they took place in a socio-political and economic context that made such intercultural experiments, and the prospect of touring them abroad, possible. By drawing upon models from foreign policy and international relations, Thorpe claims that Chinese opera has been, and continues to be, a potent tool of cultural diplomacy, asserting Chinese structural power on the global stage.
Period11 Apr 2016
Held atConfucius Institute, The University of Manchester