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Chinese to English: Translation of Play Reviews General field: Art/Literary Detailed field: Art, Arts & Crafts, Painting
Source text - Chinese 1. 话剧 《赛纳河少女的面模》 （5月锣鼓巷戏剧节参展剧目）
Translation - English Famous critic and translator of Russian Drama, Mr. Tong Daoming, wrote this play in commemoration of the late great Chinese poet Mr. Feng Zhi and the early 20th century golden age in Chinese intellectualism out of which he emerged. The recently deceased “Last Mohican” Mr. Ji Mulin (famed Classical Chinese scholar) also makes an appearance.
The inspiration for this play came from a bust of young woman that Mr. Feng Zhi found while studying in Germany. In the years that followed, Mr. Feng Zhi would return to China, blown here and there by the currents of revolution, but always keeping the bust close by his side. It was only when the Cultural Revolution had reached its fever pitch that the piece was finally found and destroyed by the Red Guard. The bust was a famous French sculpture, once praised by Romain Rollard as being, “unparalleled in beauty, all other sculptures of this age pale in comparison. In the young maiden’s face are captured all of the comic and tragic elements of humankind.”
To watch this play is to be drawn back into the chaos and strife that marked the beginning of the 21st century in China. Among the impotent and enraged masses, a select few cobbled together scattered threads of intelligence and with unforeseen courageousness, took their stand against the rampant spread of poverty and restlessness among the people. During this time, Feng’s bust would become a kind of religious icon; a constant source of inspiration and solace for those who fought. “Bust of a Lady” unfolds this mammoth historical tableau with a dulcet and slow-burning sentiment, inspiring audiences with the brilliant pathos of a bygone epic.
2. I am a Seagull (Stage Play)
Originally written in commemoration of renowed Russian playwrite Anton Chekhov’s 150th birthday, “I am a Seagull,“ whose inspiration comes from Chekhov’s 1896 play “The Seagull,“ now makes it’s glorious return to the Penghao Stage. With a respect bordering on zealotry, “Seagull“‘s performers pursue a faithful and complete transmission of the emotive realism that so distinguished Chekhov’s works. Through life‘s inexpressible vacillations, through kitsch and pure sentiment, maudlin and stoic extremes, characters maintain a distant calm. The language they speak, tempered and raw as poetry, expresses the suffering ineluctable and ubiquitous, which all humans must face. Even as this truth is made known, the audience becomes privy to the beauty that underlies suffering and, in the process, discovers beauty’s true nature.
“People should be beautiful in every way—in their faces, in the way they dress, in their thoughts and in their innermost selves.” – Chekhov
“A play should be written in which people arrive, go away, have dinner, talk about the weather and play cards. Life must be exactly as it is. And people as they are - not on stilts.... Let everything on the stage be just as complicated, and at the same time just as simple as it is in life. People eat their dinner, just eat their dinner, and all the time their happiness is being established or their lives are being broken up.” - Chekhov
“Carefree Love”(Modern Kunqu Theatre) Northern Kunqu Opera House Performance (Louguxiang May Drama Festival Participant)
“Carefree Love” comes by way of the vaunted Northern Kunqu Opera House and tells the story of the star-crossed love affair between the talented Poet Shi Pingmei and secretary to Sun Zhongshan (Sun Yat-sen) Gao Junyu.
Shi Pingmei was praised by her contemporaries as the “Great Female Scholar of the Capital.” She was set apart from the women of her era by a broad vision and a confident vivacity in the letters she published. Ms. Shi’s daring earned her a place among those women who would represent a new wave of feminine ideals in China. Her rise to stardom also coincided with her chance encounter and subsequent seduction of Secretary Gao Junyu. Her early works were decidedly bourgeois, self-pitying and melancholic, but the death of Gao Junyu and the heroic sacrifices of Li Daozhao and Li Dazhen would awaken her from her aristocratic slumber. With pen dipped in the blood of her fallen brothers and the tears of her own remorse, Shi Pingmei would set down a stirring revolutionary call-to-arms. From the depths of a widow’s mourning, the poet would find in herself new and untapped resources, which manifested in the unprecedented and widely-received poetic forms she would adopt.
Sadly, due to the enormous emotional stress that came in her early years, the poet would pass at the ripe age of 26, reuniting with her lover in the afterworld.
The play is at once a lover’s swansong and a poetic tribute to a bygone era.
I have ten years of experience in Chinese-English translation. I started out as an in-house translator in a Chinese gaming company for my first two years. Our primary work was in translating games, but we also translated marketing and legal documents as well. Since then I have been working as a freelance translator. My largest volume of work has come from gaming, but I have also have substantive experience in legal, marketing, academics and subtitling. In the last two years I have also begun functioning as a semi-in-house translator for a large religious organization. This has allowed me to continue to hone my skills in legal, subtitling and technical translation. I love collaborating with translation teams and hope you will consider me to work with you!