In 1928, the Communist Party sends Ke Xiang (portrayed by Yang Chunxia) from Jinggang Mountain to the Azalea Mountain that borders on Jiangxi and Hunan as a leader of peasant revolt. Ke Xiang is arrested on the way, but it happened that is succored by the peasant self-defense corps. Since then, Ke Xiang has served as the Party representative of the self-defense corps. She propagates the class policy of the party, unites the masses, expands the arms constantly.
The chieftain of landlord arms colludes the traitor of the peasant self-defense corps, catches the adoptive mother of the peasant revolt leader Lei Gang (portrayed by Ma Yong'an) to lure him down the hill, attempts to eliminate the self-defense corps at one blow . Ke Xiang penetrates the enemy's venomous scheme, maintains that the peasant self-defense corps should retreat as the enemy is intruding, and join the main force to crush the intruding of the enemy. Lei Gang does not listen to her advice and rashly goes down the hill to rescue his mother. He falls into a trap arrested by the enemy. Ke Xiang leads the dagger squad to rescue Lei Gang and his mother, has driven traitors out. She has successfully transformed this peasant's self-defense corps.
8 Model Plays
The so-called eight model plays were officially formed during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). They were the only plays performed at that time. Materials were from the communist activities or related subjects. Actually the then staged modern plays were not just limited to eight. They are the "The Legend of Red Lantern", "Sha Jia Bang", "The Harbor", "Takeover of Wei-Hu Mountain", "Hymn of Dragon River", "Battle on the Plain", "The Du-Juan Mountain", "Sweeping the White Tiger Regiment", "Pan-Shi-Wan" and "Red Woman Detachment". The model plays were then " translated" into other local operas. Usually that means adopting the play scripts as they were and changing the music accordingly.
Modern plays can be understood as a trial of reform to this grand old art. Traditional plays feature the stories of ancient or pre-modern Chinese history. There are certain forms for the costumes, the character face paintings, stage properties, musical melodies and stage actions. But most of these are not applicable to the modern plays. For example, modern weapons, such as pistols and rifles, are used on the stage in stead of pears and swords. Therefore new perforating forms were developed. The most famous change in the modern plays is the use of a huge orchestra including violins, piano etc instead of the usually small musical group, producing the most beautiful sounding effect. Stage setting was also enriched. Painted or light projected scenes were adopted. Costumes were different from the traditional plays. There were hardly any makeup applied. Therefore there was no face painted in the plays although some of the roles were still classified as painted faces.