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The musical is not the first genre that springs to mind when considering film entertainment in China. Given the primacy of opera (xiqu, drama and songs), the musical genre is both foreign and improbable. Compared to opera films, or other popular genres such as martial arts and costume drama, the musical is a minor genre because of its relatively fewer numbers, economical production and near-disappearance from contemporary screens. That the musical is mostly seen as a definitive Hollywood from hinders its embeddedness in Chinese screens. From the beginning, musicals in China were entangled with Western forms and thus unlikely to qualify as national cinema, despite the importance of opera and popular songs in Chinese life. That said, there remains a diverse body of loosely defined musicals in Chinese languages, enough to make a compelling contribution to the musical in an international frame. Further, Chinese musicals are fascinating precisely because of their artistic transfigurations of native and foreign styles, including those from Hollywood and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe international film musical
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780748634767
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


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