Xuanke's Naxi Ancient Music

There are several theatres to experience Naxi Ancient Music in Lijiang and the most famous one is Xuanke Orchestra Theatre(Chinese: Dàyán Nàxī Gǔ Yuè Huì 大研纳西古乐会). Xuanke Orchestra Theater, reformed from an old courtyard residence, is located at Sifang Street of Lijiang Old Town.

On the theatre platform beam hung a line of white-and-black portraits of the late musicians. And many awards or group photos with the celebrities are prominently placed as the settings. The gong beats to greet the performer band, a group of staggering long-white- mustache musicians supported by the young Naxi females. The old musicians play three parts of different-theme-and-type music by the generation-pass-down instruments. It is hard to tell whether they give the life to the music or the music gives them living reason from their enjoyed look. The entire show lasts for 2 hour from 8:00pm. At such an old age, fun occurrences sometimes happen when one or two old players fall asleep and even snore when he waits for the play on the stage. Each year, 1-2 musician passes away for the old age and it poses an uncertainty whether this ancient music can still have a persistent life in the future. Young musicians have been being trained and it is still a long way to go to reach their master's level.

The director Xuanke talk shows interweave each chapter. This confident and eloquent man quotes and explains the expansive helpful background information concerning the performances in a fun and a bit too much way. A show product (books, DVD, CD about the show) sale leads an end to the performance.

Since the show is not bilingual and the director speaks in few English, it is a bit challenging for the foreign audience to deeply appreciate the show.