The Shanxi Grand Theater: The “Renaissance” of Chinese Drama Land


ThispaperfocusesonTaiyuancity,asecond-tierChinesecitywithabrillianthistorythat had been gradually reduced to mediocrity. When an ambitious governor took office, he planned to carry out an urban revitalization process in which cultural facilities would become symbols of power and represent the city’s identity or define its character. The importation of western-style architecture and urban design for the performing arts offer a way out. The ‘perfect copies’ of European lifestyle, through the way of architectural, urbanism transplant, seemed to serve as a potent symbol of China authority’s ability to control and rearrange the worldwide intelligence for their citizen. The authors investigated Taiyuan and its performance spaces, examine the Shanxi Grand Theatre in terms of designs, layouts and uses, expectations, and disappointments in spatial terms both within and in relation to urban spaces, which epitomized China’s strategy on balancing the elite cultural monuments and social welfare.

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