When core curriculum meets theatre

Quite different from traditional textbook and classroom learning, art education is inspirational and encourages the audience to not only appreciate beauty, but to contemplate a theme.


The other afternoon in October at an LU lecture hall, some 400 students doing the common core course China in World History and the cluster course Music and World Cultures watched a special performance of L’Orphelin by four artists from the Théâtre de la Feuille.


The Orphan of Zhao is one of China’s oldest plays and the first to be translated into a European language — French writer, historian and philosopher Voltaire adapted it in the early 18th century — and here it was retold through the art of the body and monologues, forms influenced by Jacques Lecoq, one of the major figures of Western theatre.


The discussion session led by the group’s director Ata Wong Chun Tat and LU Head of the Department of History Dr Vincent Leung was less about the play’s aesthetic value than which one of the three versions is authentic — and where is truth in history?


The animated discussion between the students and performers touched not only on literature and history, but also today’s life and society, and was followed by the artists talking about their creative and professional lives.


This crossover is a collaboration of the Core Curriculum and General Education Office, Wong Bing Lai Music and Performing Arts Unit and Jockey Club New Arts Power, which aim to widen students’ horizons through liberal arts education.