This is a form of duet, also known as bengbeng. It originated in the three provinces of Northeast China -- Liaoning,Jilin, and Heilongiiang. It is a form of quyi that involves story telling, singing, and dancing between two performers. Bengbap has a history of 200 years. The script is written in popular language that is easy to understand, humorous, and rich in local lifestyle and flavor. The vocal music is based on that of the northeastern folk songs.
Bengbeng is a blend of the northeast dagu Lianhualao, ping, and Hebei clapper performances. The singing is high-spirited and of an explosive type, sincere and moving. The dancing is derived from farmers' dances done to celebrate sowing and planting. It also features the folk dance technique of waving fans or silk handkerchiefs. In addition, it employs martial arts stunts adapted fromPeking Opera.
There are three kinds of errenzhuan. The most important is the duet sung by a clown and a player who acts the role of a woman. It is part song, part dance, and partstorytelling. The most prominent items include The Western Bower and The Blue Bridge. The second type is a solo, in which the player sings and dances, such as Hong Yue'e Had a Dream. In the third type the actor sings the part of a woman or an old man, as in an opera. This is called lachangxi. An example is Lord Bao Gong Makes an Apology.
Errenzhuan is rich in vocal music, and some 300 names of qupai (define this briefly) musical scores are known to this genre. About 50-60 are stock ones, some rendered repeatedly during performances. The most famous programs include huhuqiang, labapaizi, and wenhaihai.
The traditional errenzhuan repertoire contains over 300 items, usually divided into sets of four major items, such as Gang Jian, Qing Lv, Xun Yang Lou, and Tie Guan Tu.
It also contains sets of four minor items, including Western Bower, The Blue Bridge, Yin Hun Zhen, and Li Cuilian Pan Dao.
New programs have appeared during the past several decades, such as Harvest Bridge, ]ie Gu Niang, and Liu Chuntao, all of which have gained high ratings from audiences.