Abstract. This article examines the history of relations between Russian and Chinese theater. Features of the two countries’ intercultural interaction are highlighted. The author presents a detailed chronicle of presentations of Russian and Soviet classics on the Chinese stage. Special attention is given to the ties between the Russian Far East theater troupes and their Chinese counterparts.

It is quite difficult today to imagine a life of art and theater with no intercultural intercourse. The bonds of communication formed during foreign tours and festivals, international biennials of the arts, international master classes, and other such events create a common space in which thespians of different countries can mingle professionally and make contact with their foreign counterparts.

At the heart of any intercultural communication lies “the direct or indirect exchange of information between representatives of different cultures.”1 This is what is most important; the details are determined by the specific circumstances of international contacts and those who participate in them.

The history of Sino-Russian dialogue in the realm of theater arts can be divided into several periods, each of which has its own features and characteristics. Relations that grow as a result of mutual intercultural interest are also of a special kind. From experience, we know the interthespian ties that form between Chinese and Russians differ notably from those between, e.g., Russians and Japanese, or between Russian and Korean thespians.

Below, we examine the history of Russia-China interthespian dialogue.

Chinese thespians’ interest in the Russian school of drama became clear as early as the beginning of the 20th century.2 It began with their becoming acquainted with Russian literature and studying the theatrical method itself. A new form of dramatic theater developed in China, due to translations of artistic works and scholarly articles on common cultural problems, authored by the writer Lu Xun.3

The dramatic arts were at first also referred to as the “new drama” (xin ju); later they were dubbed “conversational drama” (hua ju). In 1906, the first theatrical troupe with the poetic name Ch’unliushe (Society of the Spring Willow) was formed in Tokyo by Chinese students. Shanghai became its base of operations. It was there, immediately after the most active members of the troupe had returned to China, that theatrical studios whose members were, according to Ye.K. Shulunova, often associated with the revolutionary movement, opened one after another.4 Preference was, therefore, given to plays that corresponded to the moods of Chinese society, which were influenced by the Xinhai Revolution: Gold and Blood, Events in East Asia, Long Live the Republic!, The Crane Tower, and others. Blunt political appeals were issued from the stage. Adhering to such a repertoire limited the theatrical companies’ creative development and narrowed their artistic potential. After some time, revolutionary pathos, therefore, gave way to “human passions,” and the themes of repertory playbills became remarkably varied: Russian and European classics, contemporary foreign works ‒ L. Tolstoy’s Resurrection, A. Dumas’ Camille, H. Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, W. Shakespeare’s Othello, H. Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, and others. Special attention was given in the new dramatic studios to studying realistic directors’ theater. Such theatrical innovations became possible thanks to the May Fourth Movement5 ‒ a new cultural current whose aims included reforming China’s literary language, making it easier to improve the quality of artistic translations. The collection Russian Theater (elosi xiqu) was published in 1921. It included, among other works, N. Gogol’s The Inspector General; A. Ostrovsky’s The Storm; I. Turgenev’s A Month in the Country; L. Tolstoy’s The Power of Darkness and The Fruits of Enlightenment; and A. Chekhov’s Ivanov, Uncle Vanya, and The Cherry Orchard. In these classic Russian works, “the Chinese audience saw a mirror reflecting man under conditions where he is tried by the mundane, and that toward which he strives even when open resistance is not possible: spiritual fortitude, adherence to his principles, and the preservation of human dignity.”6

An interesting feature of the works by Chinese playwrights using Russian literature is the mandatory adaptation of Russian episodes, names, and details of everyday life to Chinese realities. In addition, radical reworking of the playwright’s main thoughts was considered acceptable. A clear example of this was playwright Chen Baicheng’s reworking of A. Ostrovsky’s play Without a Dowry in the late 1940s. The translational metamorphoses in the play when published under a new title (Love on a Sheer Cliff) were due to its new version referring to Japan’s invasion of China and the war against Japanese aggression that had just begun. The play was, as they say, quite topical.

A. Ostrovsky’s works were enormously popular among Chinese readers and audiences. According to the testimony of Liu Wenfei, translator and expert on Russian literature, The Storm was the play presented most often on Chinese stages because of its immense popularity with audiences: “From 1937 through 1948, the play was seen by more than 100,000 people. Over these ten years, the drama was staged 17 times.”7 We must assume that in Katerina they saw not “a ray of light in the realm of darkness” but a melodramatic heroine ‒ a suffering young woman.

In the 1930s, revolutionary changes in Chinese theater were associated with the names K. Stanislavsky, V. Meierhold, and their theatrical systems. A no less important role was played in this by the worldwide fame of Russian theater arts. As it was, Chinese politicians in that period were well disposed toward studying the Soviet cultural experience. These years saw the publication of a Chinese translation of K. Stanislavsky’s groundbreaking book An Actor’s Work.8 This was followed by translations of other directors’ works (including Nemirovich- Danchenko’s From the Past and B. Zakhava’s Craft of the Actor and Director), which greatly motivated Chinese producers to understand the laws of the realistic method. Many of them were convinced of the value of this theatrical technique for staging ideologically relevant plays and using the stage as a public political tribune. None of the symbols, innuendos, allegories, or equivocalities used in traditional Chinese theater were needed to openly and directly declare from the stage what was troubling society. The repertoire was rounded out with comedies, farces, and tragicomedies that satirized the flaws of the social system, rulers, and officials of the Qing Dynasty.

This was a time of absolute coincidence of views on the instructive role of art when it was part of a total ideological experience aimed at solving the problems of sociopolitical programs and specific ones of the national economy: “weighing major social problems and instilling democratic ideas in mass audiences.”9 The new theater arts evoked considerable interest, with real political passions rising around them. Such theater led directly to Soviet dramatic theory. The Young People’s Art Theater in Beijing and the People’s Art Theater in Shanghai were the main centers for studying the Soviet theatrical experience and the experimental staging of works by foreign playwrights. Their repertory playbill included N. Ostrovsky’s Pavel Korchagin, J. Fučik’s Notes from the Gallows, A. Korneichuk’s Platon Krechet, A. Afinogenov’s Mashenka, and M. Gorky’s The Philistines.10

In 1953, China’s Second National Congress of Literature and Art Workers officially declared Socialist Realism to be the theater’s leading method. The magazine Xiju bao (Theater Gazette) published articles on Griboyedov and N. Gogol, M. Gorky and A. Chekhov, premieres at Soviet theaters, and the works of leading Soviet playwrights. There were also many articles on the Stanislavsky–Nemirovich-Danchenko system.

In the mid-1950s, Soviet theater became an active part of the cultural dialogue with “Chinese comrades in art.” During that period, propaganda of Chinese theater in the Soviet Union was a great success in the cultural sphere, due to the political situation. Soviet audiences got an idea of China not only through the mass media and popular press aimed at acquainting them with the state of Chinese theater arts: Chinese operatic theaters were eagerly invited to tour the Soviet Union, ensuring they would be accessible to a wide range of audiences across the country. The popularity of Chinese theater was also due to works by Chinese playwrights being produced on the stages of Soviet theaters. The repertoires of theaters (including those of the Far East) were quickly enlarged by shows staged using works by Chinese playwrights. The mandatory connection between dramatic material and ideological tenets in adaptations of foreign playwrights prevented directors from reaching noteworthy theatrical resolutions. When performing translated works, the stage of a theater should become a meeting place of different cultures, one of direct dialogue between the mentalities of different peoples, as shaped by history.

For mutual understanding, it is important that, however accessible and interesting this dialogue is to the audience, the theatrical language is understandable and corresponds to their needs, regardless of how it is conveyed. The productions based on Chinese plays and staged in the postwar period convinced Soviet audiences that their “Chinese brothers” were living with the same ideas of the bright future that they were. Only the settings, which conveyed something of the national flavor of what was happening on stage, were out of the ordinary for Soviet audiences.

The play The Spilled Bowl, adapted from The Story of the West Wing, a classic work written by the Chinese playwright Wang Shifu in the 18th century, was thus staged at the Ussuriisk (former Voroshilov) Drama Theater in the 1955 season. The theater saw it as a “heroic comedy castigating the sanctimony and depravity of Chinese monarchs and the aristocracy.”11 The actors were following the example of Moscow’s Theater of Satire, on whose stage The Spilled Bowl was first presented for Soviet audiences in 1952.12

The theaters of Blagoveshchensk and Sakhalin also turned to Chinese drama more than once. They staged works by one of the best-known Chinese playwrights of the 20th century, Cao Yu, particularly his play The Thunderstorm (1934). This play, which shared the title of A. Ostrovsky’s well-known work, was presented more than 3,000 times on the stages of Soviet theaters under different appelations (The Thunderstorm, The Hurricane, The Typhoon). Soviet directors also discovered other works by this playwright, particularly The Sunrise. In analyzing the Chinese repertoire of Soviet theaters, it is easily seen that the patriotism of the Chinese people was reflected in every play, together with its longing for freedom and its struggle against feudalism and imperialism. These shows were no doubt approved by Soviet censors. The political importance of staging Chinese plays turned out to be greater than the principles of theater arts. In other words, the propaganda of Chinese theater in the Soviet Union was a way of reinforcing the ideology of the countries in the socialist camp and served political interests.13 In analyzing these shows, critics stressed the “positive influence of social and economic changes on humanity, awakening in it consciousness of participating in the building of a new society.”14 Correspondingly, even the reviews of these shows were literally carbon copies of one another, with the critics completely ignoring all signs of their national school of drama.15

It is interesting that the Chinese national theaters operating on the territory of the Soviet Far East in the 1920s and ‘30s also began using adaptations of literary material.16 It was possible for the Chinese living in Far Eastern cities to become acquainted with their native land’s theater, from classic traditional to modern revolutionary, but this happened quite rarely because the main duty of the national theaters was the sociocultural adaptation of Chinese living in a foreign land. Classic traditional theater gradually gave way to new troupes; for example, the Theater of Worker Youth, a Chinese TRAM, was established in 1931. Its repertoire was heavily political, since the theater had to be “also a nurturer, a teacher, an agitator, and a propagandist of the new way of life among the Chinese population in Russia’s Far East.”17 It should be noted that Chinese theater, being subordinate to the region’s bodies of cultural management, did its best to comply with the demands made of all Soviet establishments of theatrical and other types of entertainment. Their theatrical method ‒ that of socialist realism ‒ was in no way different, giving grounds to assume that no attempts were made to synthesize new ideas of production with traditional national theater. The periodicals of those years confirm this. The history of Chinese (and Korean) theater in the Far Eastern territory was not long. Due to the political repression that swept through the 1930s, the activity of the national theaters in the Far Eastern territories was curtailed, and creative contacts were broken off. There were only brief episodes at the end of World War II when music and theater groups following the advancing Soviet army gave concerts or staged short scenes from shows on the Russian-Chinese border and on the territory of the People’s Republic of China, particularly in the cities of Hegang and Jiamusi.

In 1958, Mao Zedong announced the Great Leap Forward, which applied to theater troupes as well. One of the main demands made of the theater was overcoming “superstition,” which was understood as respect for foreign experience, Soviet included. Something new had to be created, “something people did not have in the distant past, nor that foreigners have.” The principle of revolutionary romanticism lay ‒ or, more accurately, was restored ‒ at the heart of the new theatrical method. This new Chinese theatrical system was promoted as a counterweight to Stanislavsky’s. The development of the theater as conversational drama was slowed somewhat and further complicated by the campaign of criticism against Hu Feng and his associates, who were accused of excessive adherence to the foreign (specifically Soviet) theatrical experience and its popularity on Chinese soil. Maoist philosophy led to a temporary exaltation and glorification of xiju ‒ traditional Chinese theater.18

After recognition of the Great Leap’s excesses, theaters were once again allowed to stage Soviet plays. They returned to Soviet drama cautiously, via the revolutionary repertoire (N. Pogodin’s Man with a Gun, V. Vishnevsky’s An Optimistic Tragedy, M. Shatrov’s In the Name of the Revolution, B. Gorbatov’s The Youth of the Fathers, and others), which at the start of the 1960s were widely staged in Chinese theaters. These were followed by “neglected” plays, adapted from contemporary Soviet and Western literature. Articles devoted to the systems of Diderot, Brecht, and Stanislavsky, appeared once again in the pages of the magazines Juben (Drama) and Xiju bao (Theater), and “participatory theater” and the “theater of experience” were widely discussed. Adherents of the Diderot system rose to defend his theory about the ideal hero and the romanticized idealization of reality. Opponents ‒ and they were in the majority ‒ favored Stanislavsky and Brecht, calling them “great teachers of life.”

The attack on China’s theatrical legacy followed the line of criticizing Confucian ideas and the drama of xiju theater. The unpredictability of political decisions was clear from the new Decree of December 12, 1963, which radically reoriented the Chinese toward rejecting the legacy of traditional theater (and other things as well).19

Popularization of the theory of the division of labor, which called for harmony between the old and new forms of theater, became a unique way of resisting attempts to reduce the role of theater to mass political propaganda. However, with the emergence of the “flagbearer of the Cultural Revolution” ‒ the new ideologue and inspector of Chinese theater Jiang Qing20 ‒ who conducted a harsh campaign against live theater between 1966 and 1975, companies of actors were forced to stage only revolutionary plays. Red Guards brigades (Hongweibings) were organized in all theater groups and schools and zealously ferreted out anyone who did not share the beliefs handed down from above.

The twists and turns of revisionism in Chinese national theater forced it to unwillingly return to traditional sources. According to Soviet Sinologists, “the nationalist ambitions of Maoism came to the fore.”21 In our view, this was the natural way of coming full circle: by rejecting the experience of others and gradually turning away from their own attempts in the field of psychological theater, with images of ideal heroes replacing realistic reflections of life center stage. At first, these were heroes armed with the teachings of Mao Zedong (e.g., Lei Feng and Ouyang Hai, soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army); their places were later taken by other worthy characters of the past and present. Historical plays, at whose heart lay traditional symbolism expressed in ritual actions, once again took an honored place on Chinese stages.

Chinese theater once again became as Sinologist Academician V.M. Alekseyev had seen it: “Compared to European theater, the Chinese version follows a different artistic path. China is a country with an intense culture that has never left any aspect of life in its original form…. Chinese theater also exaggerated everything until the complete loss of a perfunctory similarity to life. This general stylization, exaggeration, and excess grew over the centuries…. There was no play of things on the Chinese stage, but a play of ideas.”22

Soviet dramatists criticized the Chinese theater of the Cultural Revolution period for rejecting “the most progressive theatrical method in the world ‒ that of socialist realism…. The events of life are not interpreted or depicted indirectly in artistic form. Rather, they are presented in descriptive naturalism and with passionate expressionism.”23

Society, its strength and its principles, are what draw the attention of Chinese to both life and the stage. However, in the opinion of Professor Heinrich Dumoulin of Tokyo’s Sophia University, we cannot “completely deny personality and the personal in Far Eastern thought.”24 Personality in Chinese society is simply determined more by social than by ontologistical thought; i.e., it is a part of a greater whole ‒ in this case, society. Society is an organic whole, and individual is a part of this organism.

Sinologists recognize that “In the many centuries of the supremacy of Confucian ideology, it had been absorbed by the people and shaped their mass consciousness. The attempt to alter this mass consciousness using the theory of scientific socialism failed.”25 In all cases, “there is no such thing as ‘I’” was the conceptual hyperbole.26 The ideology of Russian (and Soviet) theater, like its European counterpart, emphasized the individual and his personal experience. Russian theater is in fact referred to as “the theater of experience.”

So long as Chinese theater companies needed literary material that corresponded to the principles of socialist realism, they experimented with it and even created their own productions. However, “in its development and evolution, no culture can help but experience the deep influence and limitations of the resources of traditional culture, as they are tied to it by indissoluble bonds.”27 Chinese audiences were, therefore, conscious of the foreignness and less stylized nature of the new things they saw on the stage, due to the perspective of the national worldview. The characteristics of Chinese theater are not some sort of expressionistic whim but a consequence of the centuries-long evolution of the theater, the history of which goes back more than 2,000 years. At a fundamental level, all of the conventions of Eastern theater are in the minds of Europeans; for the Chinese, they do not exist. As Yu. Lotman correctly noted, “The language of the theater is built upon the traditions of national culture, and it is natural that someone immersed in the same cultural tradition senses its peculiarities to a lesser degree.”28

A lecture delivered by Harbin ethnologist Pavel Gladkiy, delivered to the Society of Russian Orientalists as far back as April 1914, confirmed the above. described in detail, ended with a brilliant illustration of the enormous gap that existed between Oriental and Western art: “We Europeans have traveled far from our yellow brethren, but the main difference between us is that as a result of the many achievements of culture, we have lost the ability to imagine. We live with-tactile, superficial feelings, while the Chinese float above the ground and, being indifferent to earthly privations, create in their own minds a new life that is beautiful in its own way.”29

Contemporary Chinese theater views innovation and borrowing with caution. The richness of theatrical forms and abundance of ethnic theaters across China satisfy the appetite of audiences completely. There is only an unostentacious curiosity of a limited number of educated and incidentally affluent urbanites who are somewhat familiar with tours by foreign theaters visiting China. Since the beginning of the 1990s, Russian theater groups from the Far Eastern Federal District have been the most frequent visitors to China’s provinces. Theater, being a distinctive part of social life, has many ties with different public institutions (e.g., administrative bodies, economic structures, and the mass media). This makes theater culture dependent on the processes that occur in the political, social, and economic spheres. The policy of glasnost’ proclaimed in the Soviet Union in the perestroika era gave theaters a powerful stimulus for creative work and evoked great hopes for contacts with foreign audiences and colleagues. As far back as the late 1980s, Soviet theater groups, including those in the Far East, began to tour abroad and invite foreign colleagues to perform on their stages. The Far Easterners first established contacts with Europeans, but Japan turned out to be of greatest interest in the Asia-Pacific Region. The artists of regional theaters set out to tour in China much later. With time, the euphoria of the joyous, romantic expectations at the start of perestroika passed, and life showed that financial censorship was no easier than ideological censorship. The state, having ceased to be a donor, sponsor, and client in this sphere, failed to create an effective system of private and extrabudgetary financing, forcing the touring and festival life of theaters into a difficult position.

With Chinese theater returning to its roots and fundamental principles, the two countries’ artists had nothing to talk about. Professional interest was lost, and there were no durable bonds of communication. Tours in the post-Soviet Russia were (and continue to be) of a predominantly commercial nature. A brief retrospective of such tours in the 1990s and 2000s confirms this thesis: in June 1993, the Amur Drama Theater received a troupe from the Harbin Drama Theater on its stage with the play Papillon; in August, Blagoveshchensk artists paid a reciprocal visit to Harbin, where the Amur Drama Theater participated in a Chinese theater festival with the musical Love, Love! These were the Far Easterners’ first tours to Chinese Harbin since the Cultural Revolution. Exchange tours took place three years later, with the Qiqihar National Circus of China visiting Blagoveshchensk in July. In response, the Blagoveshchenskians once again (as three years earlier) performed the musical Love, Love!, to which a dance number by the ensemble Image was added, along with a runway show staged by the Giraffe modeling agency. For two weeks, the actors gave one or two performances a day to packed houses, sometimes with standing room only. The main requirement of their Chinese hosts ‒ that the tour be profitable ‒ was met.

In 2004, Birobidzhan’s Qoheleth Ethnic Theater left for China to participate in its International Festival of the Arts.30 This was the company’s first foreign tour. In Harbin, and in the large industrial centers of Heilongjiang province ‒ Hegang and Jiamusi ‒ the artists of the Jewish ethnic theater presented the musical dance review Metamorphoses. Reviews of these shows mentioned “the full houses guaranteed by the Chinese.”31

The Amur State Drama Theater traveled to Harbin in 2005, where it once again thrilled Chinese audiences with a musical, I Love You, Escadrille!, timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of victory in World War II.32 It was perhaps only in 2006, declared the Year of Russia in China, that a notable contribution was made to the cultural dialogue between the two countries. The solving of commercial problems became secondary. The state program for the support of cultural relations between the two countries included many interesting events in which the theaters of the Far East also took an active part. For example, the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic State Theater of Opera and Ballet toured Beijing and Shanghai;33 in Beijing, the Amur Drama Theater performed the Russian classics The Cherry Orchard, A Profitable Position, and Marriage;34 the Gorky Drama Theater of Primorye Territory traveled to Harbin; and the Qohelet Ethnic Theater performed in Hegang as part of the Days of the Jewish Autonomous District.35

The first of the Far Easterners’ performances before the Chinese public evoked a sense of culture shock among the artists. The etiquette of Chinese audience behavior differed from the norms to which the Russian artists were accustomed. Chinese audiences openly lounge around at theatrical performances. They can converse loudly, stand up in their places, and leave the auditorium during a show and return with food in their hands. “Such disorderly conduct during an actor’s performance undoubtedly puts him on edge, but he must be prepared for this….”36 The artists did eventually adjust to it. It would seem the heart of the problem is not so much in the audience culture as in the traditions of how they perceive a stage play. The principle behind a Chinese actor’s performance, which Brecht called “the alienation effect,” “gets in the way of the viewer’s full (i.e., to the point of complete immersion) emotional involvement in the action, creating a wonderful sense of distance between him and the events unfolding on stage.”37 It is this distance that allows the Chinese viewer to divert his attention periodically from the performance.

If Russian actors had understood the reason for the behavior of Chinese audiences, their egos might not have suffered so much. The vibrant picture Chinese audiences have of a customary evening at the theater was described by Orientalist S. Al’mova in a Harbin newspaper as far back as 1926: “Chinese theater always combines the senses of vision and hearing with the gustatory. Looking down from above, the barriers of boxes appear to be stalls at a fruit market, and the parterre is no different from a typical large restaurant. The parterre is filled with tables, so a member of the Chinese audience, who frequently spends around ten uninterruptedhours at a theater, drinks and eats and nibbles…. Watermelon seeds are everyone’s favorite delicacy. Everyone nibbles on these: the important official in tortoise-shell glasses; the general surrounded by adjutants and bodyguards; and the courtesan with the face of a porcelain doll and dressed in a bright pink cloak. Dirty, ragged coolies also love them. They’re devoured by rifle-toting soldiers who have ducked into the theater for a quick bite before going on watch.”38

According to L. Golovachyova, “China assimilated all of the conquerors who adopted Chinese culture while borrowing from it three key elements: Confucian teachings, the state structure corresponding to these teachings, and its school.”39 To this short but extremely important list, we shall add the theater. The conventional Eastern theater is an enticing mystery for those who think differently. Its methods are used by many Western producers, but very rarely do we see them on Russian stages. “Attempts to modernize Chinese theater by grafting West European conventions and story lines that are not organically connected with it have so far failed.”40 These words, written as long ago as the start of the 20th century, are just as relevant today. Also applicable here is Kipling’s famous verse “West is West, and East is East, and never the twain shall meet.”

* * *

In the more than 100-year-long history of China’s assimilation of the Russian school of drama, there have been periods of soaring (the 1950s) and crashes (the Cultural Revolution). These ups and downs are explained by excessive politicization and sociologization. Today, ideology and politics have been pushed into the background. Commercial interests have unexpectedly taken center stage, with esthetic and ethical values becoming secondary to them.

The uniqueness and self-containment of Russian and Chinese cultures must also be stressed, along with their facility for embracing each other. This predilection is also reinforced by the two countries’ cultural policies, which despite the orientation of their mentalities and values never allow them to forget the pragmatic aspects of life. Confirmation can be found in one article devoted to China’s cultural policy: “Attention must be given to creating a ‘most favored nation’ atmosphere in order to raise foreigners’ awareness of Chinese culture…. In the future, China should do everything possible to create cultural products that would meet international demands, and focus on innovation in cultural ideas and knowledge.”41 The field of innovation should likely include the theater ‒ an exotic art to foreign audiences. The thespian stages of Russia, including those of the Mariinsky Theater of Primorye Territory, the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic State Theater of Opera and Ballet, and the Khabarovsk Theater of Musical Comedy, are increasingly becoming platforms for China cultural foreign policy.

When considering the relationship between Russian and Chinese theater arts, we must, therefore, distinguish between professional contacts among colleagues according to guild, and more universal contacts arising from the two countries’ cultural dialogue. Communication on professional grounds has all but dried up; we see no exchanges between theater schools, apprenticeships, methods, or codes. Meanwhile, there is still interest and curiosity in foreign culture. The desire to see other works, another world, and ‒ no less important ‒ to announce themselves to this world, is always present among professionals in the theater arts. Today’s cultural dialogue is understood as diversity in intercultural relations.

Note that in this work, we examined the experience of intercultural communication in the field of the dramatic arts. Intercultural exchange in the genre of musical theater has characteristics of its own and requires separate study.


  1. Leontovich, О.А., Vvedeniye v mezhkul’turnuyu kommunikatsiyu: uchebnoye posobiye [Introduction to Intercultural Communication: A Textbook], Moscow, Gnozis Publishing House, 2007, p. 21.
  2. Opinions that the Chinese displayed interest in the Russian school of drama much earlier ‒ at the end of the 19th century ‒ have been expressed in the academic literature.
  3. A Lecture Course on the History of Science; From the Specific to Theory: On Culture; Thoughts on the Power of Poetry; and others.
  4. Shulunova, Ye.K., “Kitaiskiy dramaticheskiy teatr hua ju i russkaya teatral’naya kul’tura v nachale XX veka [Chinese Hua ju Dramatic Theater and Russian Theater Culture at the Start of the 20th Century],” Nauchnaya konferentsiya “Obshchestvo i gosudarstvo v Kitaye.” Tezisy dokladov [Academic Conference “Society and State in China”: Speakers’ Theses], Edition 15.44, Part 2, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Мoscow, 2014, p. 775.
  5. The May Fourth Movement was a cultural movement in China that arose in 1919. One of its aims was to move away from feudal cultural traditions.
  6. Shulunova, Ye.K., Op. cit., p. 777.
  7. Levina, L.R., “Ostrovskiy na Vostoke [Ostrovsky in the East],” Literaturnoye nasledstvo, 1974, Vol. 88, # 2, p. 468.
  8. Fu Weifeng, Istoriya i opyt primeneniya sistemy Stanislavskogo v kitaiskoy teatral’noy shkole [History and Experience of Applying the Stanislavsky System in the Chinese School of Theater], Ph.D. dissertation in Arts, St. Petersburg, 2009.
  9. Rakhmanin, O., Iz kitaiskikh bloknotov. O kul’ture, traditsiyakh, obychayakh Kitaya [From Chinese Notebooks: The Culture, Traditions, and Customs of China], Nauka Publishers, Мoscow, 1982, p. 32.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Mikhailov, V., “Pyatnadtsatiy sezon [The Fifteenth Season],” Krasnoye znamya, Vladivostok, January 22, 1955.
  12. This performance has been recognized as a key event in the theatrical life of the Soviet Union. See: Zhuang Yui, “Kitaiskiye teatral’niye postanovki na sovetskikh stsenakh v 1950-e gody [Chinese Theatrical Productions on Soviet Stages in the 1950s],” Vestnik Severnogo (Arkticheskogo) Federal’nogo Universiteta. Seriya “Gumanitarniye i sotsial’niye nauki.” Razdel “Istoriya” [Bulletin of Northern (Arctic) Federal University: Humanitarian and Social Sciences (History)], Arkhangelsk, # 2, 2017, p. 32.
  13. Zhuang Yui, Teatral’naya tsenzura v Leningrade. 1953-1964 gg. [Theater Censorship in Leningrad, 1953-1964], Ph.D. dissertation in Arts, St. Petersburg, 2017, p. 130.
  14. “V teatrakh kraya [In the Theaters of Primorye Territory], Kommunar, Ussuriisk, October 23, 1953.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Korolyova, V.A., “Kitaiskiye i koreiskiye teatry na Dal’nem Vostoke [Chinese and Korean Theaters in the Far East],” Rossiya i sovremenniy mir, # 2, 2002, pp. 42-45.
  17. Korolyova, V.A., “Khudozhestvennaya kul’tura Primor’ya (muzyka, teatr). Etnicheskiy aktsent i osobennosti dinamiki [The Arts Culture of Primorye Territory: Ethnic Accent and Features of Development],” Gumanitarniye issledovaniya. Almanakh. Nauchnoye i nauchno-publitsisticheskoye izdaniye [Studies in the Humanities: An Almanac. An Academic and Educational Publication], # 6, Ussuriisk State Pedagogical Institute, Ussuriisk, 2002, p. 136.
  18. Teatr. Sudby kultury KNR (1949-1979) [Theater: The Fates of Culture in the People’s Republic of China], Nauka Publishers, Moscow, 1978, p. 263.
  19. Ibid., p. 265.
  20. The Chinese actress who became Mao Zedong’s wife in 1938 and rose to the highest echelons of power in China. She played an important role in the leadership of the Cultural Revolution.
  21. Krivtsov, A., Maoism: istoki i sushchnost’ [Maoism: Sources and Essence], АSТ Publishers, Мoscow, 2004, p. 244.
  22. Sorokin, V.F., “V.M. Alekseyev i izucheniye kitaiskogo teatra i dramaturgiyi [V.M. Alekseyev and the Study of Chinese Theater and Drama],” Traditsionnaya kul’tura Kitaya [The Traditional Culture of China], Nauka Publishers, Мoscow, 1983, p. 52.
  23. Zavadskaya, E., “Dni razrusheniya [Days of Destruction],” Inostrannaya literatura, 1968, # 6, p. 108.
  24. Shteiner, Ye.S., “Fenomen cheloveka v yaponskoy traditsiyi: lichnost’ ili kvazilichnost’? [The Phenomenon of the Individual in Japanese Tradition: Human or a Quasihuman?],” Chelovek i kultura: Individual’nost’ v istoriyi kultury [Man and Culture: Individuality in the History of Culture],” Nauka Publishers, Moscow, 1990, p. 165.
  25. Zhelokhovtsev, A.N., “Rol’ traditsiyi v formirovaniyi stereotipov myshleniya i povedeniya v sovremennom Kitaye [The Role of Tradition in Shaping Stereotypes of Thought and Behavior in Contemporary China],” Rol’ traditsiyi v istoriyi i kul’ture Kitaya [The Role of Traditions in the History and Culture of China], Progress Publishers, Мoscow, 1972, p. 371.
  26. Shteiner, Ye.S., “O lichnosti, preimushchestvenno v Yaponiyi i Kitaye, khotya, strogo govorya, v Yaponiyi i Kitaye lichnosti ne bylo [On the Individual, Mainly in Japan and China ‒ Though Strictly Speaking, There Were No Individuals in Japan or China],” Odyssey: Chelovek v istoriyi [The Odyssey: Man in History], Nauka Publishers, Мoscow, 1990, p. 38.
  27. Teatr. Sud’by kul’tury KNR (1949-1979), p. 139.
  28. See, e.g., Teatr XX veka. Zakonomernosti razvitiya [Theater of the 20th Century: Patterns of Development], Мoscow, 2003; Bruk, P., Niti vremeni [Strands of Time], Мoscow, 2005; Barba, E., Bumazhnoye kanoe. Traktat o teatral’noy antropologiyi [A Birchbark Canoe: A Treatise on Theater Anthropology], St. Petersburg, 2008; and Isskustvo rezhissury. XX vek [The Art of Directing: The 20th Century], Мoscow, 2008.
  29. Russian State Historical Archive of the Far East, Folio R-2480, List 1, File 1, Sheet 1.
  30. Birobidzhanskiy yevreyskiy teatr “Kogelet” vyekhal v Kitai dlya uchastiya v festivale iskusstv [Birobidzhan Qohelet Jewish Theater Leaves for China to Participate in the Festival of Arts]. URL: http://www.ijc.ru/ 2004.07.08 (Retrieved on April 14, 2015.)
  31. Ibid.
  32. V Kharbine amurskiye aktyory vystupili na stsene ‘Global teatr’ [Amur Actors Perform on the Stage of the Global Theater in Harbin],” Amurskaya pravda, November 8, 2005, # 218.
  33. “Dal’nevostochniki prinimayut aktivnoye uchastiye v meropriyatiyakh, predusmotrennykh v ramkakh Goda Rossiyi v Kitaye [Far Easterners Take an Active Part in Events Planned for the Year of Russia in China],” Sakha News. URL: http://www.1cn.ru/5574.html.9 (Retrieved on June 12, 2010.); Ye. Zvenyatskiy, “Harbin … moya lyubov [Harbin, My Love].” URL: http://www.partnery.cn. September 19, 2006 (Retrieved on June 12, 2010.)
  34. “Vishnyoviy sad zatsvyol v Pekine [The Cherry Orchard Blossoms in Beijing],” Amurskaya Pravda, September 16, 2006.
  35. Kollektivy Birobidzhanskogo Teatra tantsa “Syurpriz” i teatr “Kogelet” gastrolirovali v Kitaye (Kharbin, Hegang, Jiamusi) [Companies of Birobidzhan Surprise Dance Theater and Qohelet Theater Tour in China (Harbin, Hegang, Jiamusi)]. URL: http://www.chinaharbin.ru.news December 11, 2006 (Retrieved on June 14, 2010.)
  36. “Amur Actors Perform in Harbin….”
  37. Brecht, B., “‘Effekty otchuzhdeniya’ v kitaiskom stsenicheskom iskusstve [‘Alienation Effects’ in Chinese Theater Arts],” O teatre [Оn Theater], Foreign Litearture Publishers, Мoscow, 1960, p. 112.
  38. Almova, S., Kitaiskiy teatr [Chinese Theater], Manchurian Courier, Harbin, 1926, # 7, p. 19; Brecht, B., “‘Alienation Effects’….” p. 19.
  39. Golovachyova, L.I., “Konfutsianstvo kak osnova tsivilizatsiyi Kitaya [Confucianism as the Foundation of China’s Civilization],” Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Far Eastern Branch, 1997, # 1, p. 44.
  40. Russian State Archive of the Far East, Folio R-2480, List 1, File 1, p. 17.
  41. “How Does Cultural Differences Influence China’s Export of Cultural Products?” Journal of World Economy, September 22, 2016. URL: jtp.cnki.net. Academic Progress Detail (Retrieved on March 3, 2017.)

Translated by Terence C. Fabian