Newsletter No. 392

10 No. 392, 19.2.2012 …… 如是說 Thus Spake… 陳澤蕾博士畢業於中文大學,先後取得中國語言及文學 文學士學位,其後再獲性別研究哲學碩士及博士學位。 陳博士酷愛粵劇,工生角,更自組劇團。去年8月在崇基 學院六十周年院慶活動《紫釵記》中,她即擔綱演出「李 益」一角。 Dr. Chan Chak-lui Sam received her BA in Chinese language and literature, and MPhil and PhD in gender studies at the Chinese University. Deeply interested in Cantonese opera, Dr. Chan not only learnt the art, but founded a troupe. At the Chung Chi College 60th Anniversary celebration music event, The Purple Hairpin , last August, she played a female sheng (male protagonist). 你是怎樣喜歡上粵劇的? 那要從小六的一個晚上說起,由於不想睡覺,跟着媽媽看 《歡樂滿東華》,發覺熒幕上的折子戲真的很吸引,原來 有一樣東西是可以結合了舞蹈、歌唱和演戲。一下子便愛上 了,立即錄映下來,翌日放學後即重看。之後開始到影視店 租粵劇影碟回來學着做。中二時,得知有粵劇學校,便瞞着 家裏,問表姐借錢,每星期日去學戲。逢周日外出的謊話撒 不了多久便露餡了,隨即在家中上演了一齣「大龍鳳」。後 來,父母還是讓我去學戲,不過其後要專心唸書,從中四 開始便沒再學了,我本也以為與粵劇緣盡於此。 愛粵劇與選擇中大的中國語言及文學系可有關係? 自小二便對中文有興趣,又得知中大有一個粵劇興趣小 組,自然首選中大,正是一舉兩得。可是,入學後才發覺那 小組已經解散了,好不失望。其時音樂系陳守仁教授主持 了一個粵劇研究計劃,反正都是與粵劇有關,我主動申請 當義工。冥冥之中自有天意,音樂系又和八和會館合辦了 粵劇培訓班,惟是家中經濟欠佳,難再支付學費,準備放 棄之際,陳教授得知我的困難,慷慨借錢給我交學費,又 讓我在粵劇研究計劃當工讀生作償。我因而與粵劇重新結 緣,一直學了六年。 為何大學畢業後會修讀性別研究碩士和博士課程? 主要為了思考何謂性別,以處理生活中的困憂。記得我曾 兩次被人說會「變態」,一次是說進入單一性別學校很容 易變態,一次是說我打扮不像女生,長此下去,很容易「變 態」。再說,繼續唸書,可一邊學戲,何樂而不為。 對妳而言,粵劇的意義是甚麼? 可以說沒有粵劇,我便甚麼也不是。由對粵劇的喜愛,開闢 了一條道路,一路走來,認識了不同的人,不但傳授藝術, 亦給我上了一門門人生課,眼界大開。每當放浪形骸之際, 背後總有粵劇在提醒和鞭策自己。其實我是很怕與人接觸 的,談戲論藝,使我沒有那麼害怕接觸陌生人。故此,粵劇 給我帶來很大轉變,是恩賜,也成為我的生活一部分,也 可說是「依歸」。 是否因為身高178厘米,故選擇生角? 初時學戲是沒有分生和旦的,不過很快便分了行當,很幸 運,老師的安排正合我意。一般來說旦角人物較為突出,而 生角是烘托旦角,但我就是喜歡這點。2002年,我和兩三 位志同道合的朋友,合組「月白戲臺」劇團,透過演出來實 踐所學,並希望與後來者分享經驗。 現在「月白戲臺」的發展如何?, 月白是試驗場地,讓我們試着把好的東西移植過來,測試 效果。是以,公演次數頂多是每年兩次,也不在乎票房、 觀眾人數和反應,更專挑在小劇場公演。經過了七年,暫 時停了下來,因為找不着方向,不知該再往哪裏去?經過 演出《紫釵記》後,面對較大的觀眾群,收到意見說演來 「過火」,頓覺必須回到舞台,感受演員與觀眾的關係,才 能拿捏最恰當的寸度。日後我會多找機會演出。 How did you become interested in Cantonese opera? I have to start from a night when I was in Primary 6. I didn't want to sleep so I watched Tung Wah Charity Show with my mom. I was fascinated by a performance of an extract from a Cantonese opera—it was something that combined dance, song and drama. I fell in love instantly and videotaped it. The next day I watched it again after school. Then I started renting Cantonese opera LDs to imitate the performances. When I found out there was a Cantonese opera school in Form 2, I borrowed money from my cousin to take lessons every Sunday behind my family's back. But the lies I made up to explain my absence were soon found out and there was a big scene at home. My parents let me continue taking lessons until Form 4. Then I stopped so I could focus on my studies. I thought that my association with Cantonese opera had ended. Are your love of Cantonese opera and your choosing to major in Chinese language and literature at CUHK related? I had been interested in Chinese since Primary 2. There was also a Cantonese opera club in CUHK. It was the perfect choice for me, but after enrolment, I found out that the club had dissolved. I was so disappointed! At that time, Prof. Chan Sau-yan, then professor at the Department of Music, hosted the Cantonese Opera Research Programme (CORP). It was about Cantonese opera anyway, so I applied to be a voluntary helper. Well, as fate would have it, the Music Department co- organized with the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong (Bar Wo) a Cantonese opera training class. As my family was not wealthy, it was hard to set aside money for the training fee. When I told Professor Chan about my difficulty, he generously lent me the money. He also allowed me to work as student helper at CORP to pay him back. I thus reconnected with Cantonese opera again and went on taking lessons for six years. Why Gender Studies for your MPhil and PhD? It is because I wanted to think over what gender is to ease my troubles in life. I recalled being defined as a possible ‘pervert’ twice. The first time, I was told that it was easy to be a ‘pervert’ if you study in a single-gender school. The other time, I was told that if I didn’t dress like a girl, I would turn into a ‘pervert’ sooner or later. By pursuing graduate studies, I could also continue with my Cantonese opera training. So why not? What does Cantonese opera mean to you? I have to say that without Cantonese opera, I am nothing. It’s the love of it that opened up a path for me. I’ve met various people who taught me about not only the art, but also life. Whenever I become lazy, it’s Cantonese opera that gets me back to work. I’m also afraid of communicating with strangers. I feel more confident when discussing art. Cantonese opera has changed me a lot. It is a gift, it’s part of my life, and I would say, my destiny. Did you choose to play a female sheng because you’re 1.78 m tall? At the very beginning of training, the roles of sheng and dan (female protagonist) are not assigned. Then later my teacher assigned me as sheng , and it was what I wanted too. Generally speaking, the dan is more prominent, while the sheng is more of a supporting role. But that’s exactly what I like about it. In 2002, like-minded friends and I organized the Atomic Cantonese Opera (ACO) troupe to apply what we learnt in performance and share experiences with people of the same interest. How’s ACO doing lately? ACO was a testing platform that tested the effects of borrowed ideas. That is why we only performed twice a year at most. As box office results, audience numbers and their feedback were the least of our concerns, we chose small theatres for our performances. After seven years, we stopped because we were lost. Where should we go from there? Playing in The Purple Hairpin to quite a large audience, I got feedback that I over-acted. I think I need to go back to the stage and experience the relationship between performer and audience, in order to capture the best tension and dynamics. I will be seeking more opportunities for performance in the near future. 文化及宗教研究系導師 陳澤蕾博士 Dr. Chan Chak-lui Sam, Instructor, Department of Cultural and Religious Studies