轻骑队 Light Cavalry 舞 者 沈 蓓 (九)

Light Cavalry 轻骑队

Wu Eyang Qingqi’s performance of “He Mian Ye”

Soon after I came back from abroad, I entered the period of the Great Leap Forward of 58 years. Under the slogan of “giving up energy, striving for the top, how fast and save money”, various units have fought each other in terms of performances and income. Inspired by the overwhelming propaganda of big-character posters, anti-conservatives, tapping potential, and striving for the upper ranks, slogans shook the sky, and often the targets set in the morning were broken in the afternoon.

The Shanghai Opera House has set the highest number of performances in the past year-700 performances, which were later added to 900 and 1,000. When the final decision was about to be made, news came that the rival Peking Opera House had increased to 1,100 performances. The Opera House held a party committee to expand overnight. At the meeting, it was temporarily decided to break through the previous practice. From the original opera and dance troupes, a small number of forces were allocated, and a small performance team named after the “Light Cavalry” was formed. In this way, the opera house has two groups and one team and three performance units. The performance index has reached 1,200 performances at once, winning the first place.

But these are all matters of the leadership. There is nothing wrong with me as a “minibus”. After the beginning of the spring, as usual, I set off with the dance troupe to Qingdao, the first stop of the dance troupe’s tour that year. Unexpectedly, when I arrived in Bengbu, I suddenly received a notice, which made me immediately transfer to the south to meet with the Qingqi team in Dangtu, Jiangsu. It turned out that in order to catch up with the show, the “Light Cavalry” set off early, from organizing and mobilizing to rehearsing the program, a total of one week.

As a result, due to heavy tasks, few manpower, and difficult living conditions, less than a month after going down, he has lost his army and lost his generals, and has fallen to two senior officers due to injuries. The light cavalry team was originally a carrot and a pit, and had to come to the brigade for help. There are two conditions: one is to “wait now” and be able to go immediately, because there is no rehearsal time. The second is strong body, can withstand the toss of the Qingqi team. In this way, Bengbu is in a hurry.

Although I have always been bold, after all, this is the first time I have left the group to act alone, and I am also trembling. I remember that I temporarily returned from Bengbu that day and arrived at Xiaguan, Nanjing late at night. At that time, there was no Nanjing Bridge, and the ferry crossing the river would not be there until the next morning. Finally, I found a small hotel by the river. The weather will be rainy but not rainy. Close the windows and sleep. Not only is it sultry and unpredictable, but the bed is full of bugs crawling around. Open the window. Just under the window, a large group of five-and-three-thin men gathered together, drinking and gambling with their fists. Not only were there no obstructions inside, they could see clearly, and they could come in as soon as they raised their legs without turning over. I was a young girl who was nervous all night and did not dare to go to sleep. As a result, nothing happened. It can be seen that the people were simple and the peace was good at that time.

From April to August that year, we performed in more than 120 days along Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Anhui, with a journey of more than 2,200 kilometers, and performed more than 50 points and more than 200 non-stop performances. The repertoire included instrumental and vocal music. , Dance, quyi, opera, etc. This is an unforgettable experience, just like participating in a training camp for special forces that lasted more than three months. First of all, professionally, the light cavalry team requires everyone to stand on their own. At the same time, he must be a generalist. In the light cavalry team, there is no one who does not hold multiple jobs. The dancers have to sing. The next show of singing may be in the band playing gongs. It is really you who sing and I will appear on the stage.

Moreover, all administrative tasks such as finance are also shared by everyone. As for the stage, it’s even more so. There is no station in all likelihood. Once at the destination, going to the hometown to borrow a door to build a “station” from scratch is one of the basic skills. Then the hanging screen of the hanging screen, the chandelier of the chandelier, have a clear division of labor and well-trained. In less than an hour, a decent stage is ready.

While we were installing the stage, another group of people were equally busy and nervous. If you can’t find a larger room nearby, you must use cloth curtains to temporarily build a “backstage”. The dressing table and dressing room are indispensable, and because of the tension of grabbing makeup, the costumes, including the shoes, are placed in sequence before and after each actor’s show, which is very professional at the same time.

The cook, Xiao He, bury the pot and cook. Sometimes the time is too tight and he will post cakes for everyone if there is no time to buy vegetables. In less than an hour, when the front and back are basically ready, the fragrance of his food is also diffused. Come, start to yell for dinner with a smile. Regardless of his young age, he doesn’t know the craftsmanship he learned there, what kind of difficult conditions, and always make delicious dishes, and constantly changing patterns, never let everyone down. In the laughter, everyone drew a few bites of food, and then hurriedly put on makeup on stage, often performing two or three consecutive shows.

Due to the hurried formation of the light cavalry team, there was no pre-determined performance contract in hand before the departure, and the performance point was completely opened up by the front station propaganda and the influence of the performance itself. The performance spots are all small towns, so it is very frequent to change spots, even here for night shows, the next spot will be the matinee, and even the morning show is a common occurrence. Therefore, such assembling, dismantling, packing, loading, marching, and transitioning have become commonplace. Often once the last show is over, (not even over yet.) It must be unpacked and boxed at the same speed. For example, from Lanxi to Jiande, it departs at 2 in the morning and arrives at 4 in the morning, and the performance will be performed at 2 in the afternoon. There is almost no sleep in the middle.

If you enter a larger point and can play for two or three days, then you will not be idle. The squad stipulates that whenever we go to each place, we must take into account the actual situation and needs of the local area and cooperate with the propaganda. There is a local leader who wants us to produce a whole program for them. So wherever we go, we always collect materials through various methods such as interviews, and then everyone does it, racks their brains, buys and sells now, improvisation, often before the evening can be staged, I think this is for my future The creation of the pavement was laid.

It was midnight after the performance, and I had to pull the rope overnight to hang up all the costumes. Because the costumes are soaked in sweat and can’t be washed, let them dry and spray them with toilet water to let the sweat evaporate and prevent it from stinking and moldy. There was no way to carry so many hangers at that time, hey! The two ropes were twisted to clamp these key parts of the clothes leader’s mouth. After one night, the next day it was all fragrant.

Although audio and lighting are technical tasks, most of the other tasks are chores, but the old comrades still teach wisdom everywhere, such as how to hoist a large screen, and collect it quickly and flatly. This is the trick of the silk shop: how to collect a thick rope like a stick. Fast and not messy is also the method of cable workers; the knots are buckle and navy buckle, the more they are tightened, it is absolutely safe; the loading is more clever, fast and stable, etc., to speak of it It’s all common sense of life, specific and trivial, but also very knowledgeable.

They all say that “generals are in their own ranks”. This is true. I will choreograph and direct in the future. One of my praises is “a strong sense of stage.” Especially after arriving in the United States, I can quickly gain the trust and support of stage staff from other countries. Experiences like the Qingqi team are not unrelated. The training in my youth made me very familiar with every detail of the stage and laid a solid basic skills.

These are still normal, but if you encounter an accident, it will be even worse. Once from Baipu Town to Yizheng, it was also a night march. When the car was transferred to Liuhe, there was a sudden heavy rain. The road in the country was originally potholes, and this was a muddy pond after another, and finally our car was stuck in it. All the boys got out of the car, pushed and lifted, and the wheels turned straight, but they got deeper and deeper. Our girls could still sit in the car. When we finally got out of the car, all of them became clay figures. You know, there was no place to take a shower at that time. I could only find a small river, the male section, the female section, and the water was under the thunderstorm. Thinking about it now, it was actually quite dangerous. At that time, I thought it was fun to take the opportunity to take a shower.

What’s funnier is that we set off in early April, Shangchun is cold, and soon into the early summer, the rainy season in Jiangnan is sweltering and hot. In order to reduce the burden, the whole team cleaned up and consigned the thicker clothes back to Shanghai in advance. Who knew that when we went to Jiangdu by boat that day, we suddenly encountered a cold wave. As the saying goes, the face of a child in spring is warm and cold at first, and it changes when it changes. After a violent storm, the temperature dropped sharply, and his clothes were wrapped in wet clothes. As the wind blew, they shrank into a ball, shivering coldly. No way, the team decided to take out the clothing curtain and even the ironing blanket.

Just as everyone was draped and wrapped, I suddenly heard gongs and drums, and foreign bands played. It turned out that the next performance spot was particularly enthusiastic. The Propaganda Department organized a military band from a local elementary school, playing foreign horns and snare drums, and greeted us from a dozen miles away, and they brought us such a colorful band. Like a lama and a bandit, (Lao Wu said it was like a captive on the Sino-Indian border) the team circled the city around the city, and the common people greeted us. We were embarrassed and laughed and laughed. It’s really not even Chaplin’s comedy that is so exciting.

This scene is deeply imprinted in the minds of the members of the squad, becoming a memory of youth and a common story. Even small things will be talked about after many years. For example, once, it was late at night, and we were marching on the ridge. Due to extreme fatigue, many people are in a trance, walking, dragging, staggering, entering a semi-sleep state, and slowing down. My personality probably can’t stand this dull and depressing atmosphere. I suddenly found a big yellow dog in the distance, so I thought about it and said hello to the dog loudly. The yellow dog responded, and the dogs in the village naturally cheered up. For a time, one after another, a chorus of dogs sounded.

Seeing this funny scene, the whole team burst into laughter, the sleepy bugs were swept away, and their spirits were shaken, and they quickly reached their destination. Decades later, Tang Lang (the band leader, composer, I am much older, so I call him his eldest brother.) wife (Tang Lang has passed away) also told me that Tang Lang mentioned this to her many times during his lifetime. It was actually very dangerous at the time. The leaders of several of their teams didn’t know what to do. Fortunately, Shen Bei came up with this trick. This kid, she could have fun in such a hard work.

After doing so many things every day after work and performance, it was past midnight, and when all the public affairs were finished, I was exhausted, and then I started to open my backpack and find a place where I could put my body down. Most of us live in warehouses, school classrooms or ancestral halls. There were no such places, so I slept on a temporary stage, and even put together a few long benches where the audience sat, and spent the night in the open air. But no matter how simple, one thing is essential, and that is the mosquito net. The south of the Yangtze River was humid, and we were on tour in spring and summer, and there were mosquitoes overwhelming the sky.

And in a large empty room, even in the open air, it is not easy to hang a mosquito net. It must be planned and scientifically calculated. “Main line”, then hang up the small mosquito nets of each household, make full use of the space, and leave aisle for free entry and exit. There are also how to take care of the timid and infirm, who patrols and guards at night, etc., just like building a military camp. As for the clean washing area, of course I don’t even think about it. I still wash my face with cold water and rinse it with a dry towel. I never use a washbasin, which is a habit I developed at that time.

Unexpectedly, this good habit has made me seldom catch a cold for decades. As for the toilet, it is a big tank in the countryside. Everyone squatted and relieved. Once the toilet was on a high slope in the distance, far away from the residence, and it was not safe to get up at night. One person wanted to wake everyone up and walk with each other. If you have a bowel movement, everyone has to wait. The funny thing is that it takes a long time for yourself to hear the “boom”. Sometimes such conditions are not even available, so they have to find a quiet place in the wild, where the male compatriots will pull up a circle with their coats, both as a curtain and as a guard.

These can be regarded as anecdotes. Although life is extremely stressful and difficult, no one will only manage his own small world, because honestly, in the face of severe natural conditions, everyone understands that it is difficult to survive in a group and to leave the group. In addition, the leader of the old boy People are role models, so they always help each other everywhere. Everyone is vying for the first place. Instead, they laugh and laugh, warm and harmonious.

Now, more than half a century has passed, half of the passionate young people in their 20s have passed away. But many things cannot be erased by time. The light cavalry trains me immensely. It turned out that in the opera dance troupe, I counted the smallest group, most of which just need to be followed. Now, there are only four dancers in total. The most basic supporting scenes of “Running the Donkey”, “The Big Tea Mountain”, “Xinjiang Dance”, “Indian Dance”, “Red Silk Dance”, etc., I am all the leading actors, just like a master. Hua Dan. Imagine what kind of exercise it is to practice 200 consecutive performances at once. Now we often say that “challenges and opportunities coexist.” Everything must have opportunities and platforms. The Qingqi team is the opportunity and platform for me to stand out

But the unforgettable light cavalry team is far more than just the exercise of the performance, the specific skills they have learned. It is a lean and efficient paramilitary. Extreme hardship, extreme dedication, extreme friendship, extreme fulfillment. Of course, the most fundamental thing is to feel the meaning and value of life. Not to mention the old districts, this is the first time that the new art (sing and dance) has gone so deep in this large Jiangnan area. Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui, all small towns, including large rural markets, have almost been measured with their feet. , The people call friends and friends, help the old and the young, the whole village is dispatched, and the whole family goes to battle. It is really crowded and empty, and sometimes the trees are full of people..

Seeing this situation, the people of the light cavalry team were of course eagerly eager, and they couldn’t wait to do their best, so they even played five games one day (two in the afternoon and two in the evening, plus a morning session.). All the people who participated in the light cavalry team had a feeling of being “comrades in a trench,” who used to live and die together.

The “Qingqi Team” is a great pioneering and beneficial practice. It is indeed like the nectar of a long drought for solving the long-term extreme hunger and thirst for spiritual life in the vast rural areas of China. But as a model for the long-term development of literature and art, it also has an obvious utopian nature. Petty-bourgeois fanaticism makes everyone’s brains hot, and they continue to increase their heads, and the result of not talking about science is unsustainable. The most obvious example is Wu Eyang. He was born with a good voice. In the Qingqi team, he is the captain of the singing team and the main force. He is also a chorus, a solo singing and a small opera, not to mention other guest appearances and various chores. Not by accident. After all, the golden voice was also made of meat. His body was originally thin, long-term fatigue and lack of sleep. When he was dumb, he continued to sing. The result was that his voice had a summary, and he did not fully recover throughout his life.

The “Qingqi Team” is a great pioneering and beneficial practice. It is indeed like the nectar of a long drought for solving the long-term extreme hunger and thirst for spiritual life in the vast rural areas of China. But as a model for the long-term development of literature and art, it also has an obvious utopian nature. Petty-bourgeois fanaticism makes everyone’s brains hot, and they continue to increase their heads, and the result of not talking about science is unsustainable. The most obvious example is Wu Eyang. He was born with a good voice. In the Qingqi team, he is the captain of the singing team and the main force. He is also a chorus, a solo singing and a small opera, not to mention other guest appearances and various chores. Not by accident. After all, the golden voice was also made of meat. His body was originally thin, long-term fatigue and lack of sleep. When he was dumb, he continued to sing. The result was that his voice had a summary, and he did not fully recover throughout his life.




















每天工作演出后又做了这么多事,时过午夜,等一切公家的事完成,已经精疲力尽,才开始打开背包,张罗一个可以放倒身体的地方。  我们大多数住在仓库,学校的教室或祠堂里。这些地方都没有,就睡在临时搭的舞台上,甚至把观众坐的几条长板凳一拼,就在露天过夜。不过再简陋,一样东西是必不可少的,那就是蚊帐。江南潮湿,我们巡演又在春夏之际,一团一团的蚊子铺天盖地。