A brief introduction to Xiangsheng

Xiangsheng or cross-talk is one of the most popular folk art forms in China. It emerged in the Qing Dynasty during the reign of Emperor Xianfeng (1851-1861). Xiangsheng can be performed by one person (solo comic talk), two players (comic dialogue), and three or more people (group cross-talk), with the comic dialogue by two players being the main form of performance. In a comic dialogue, as a rule, the leading actor, helped by the supporting actor, provokes laughter of the audience with funny remarks. Due to its humor, sarcasm and unique aesthetic effects, Xiangsheng has spread far and wide. Vernacular Xiangsheng or Xiangsheng performed in ethnic languages, such as Tibetan Xiangsheng, has appeared in remote regions and areas inhabited by ethnic minorities. Furthermore, Xiangsheng has been introduced abroad and becomes popular in Southeast Asia including Burma, Singapore and Malaysia ("A Comic Dialogue Between Mainland and Taiwan Arts")

Links to Xiangsheng websites