Looks like the best stuff on Ming Dynasty theater is on Saturday February 11th, 2012. Some stuff on Dreaming on February 8th too. Check it out.
Hey I went to this. It kind of sucked. A room full of scholars talking down to us. Scholars who are long winded, and answer questions about subjects they don't know anything about. Yuck. One of those 21st century experiences where the audience is better informed than the presenters.
I did get a couple of things. The cross hand movement in Chen Style Tai Chi that comes right at the beginning of 'Lazy about tying ones coat' is used in Kunqu theater to mean, 'waking from a dream!' Cool huh? Also I learned that it is likely that the ambassador of Burundi who accompanied Zhenghe back to Beijing in the reign of Yongle (1402-1424), brought an entourage with him and that they stayed in China for 2 years. So it is possible since Zhenghe and many of his sailors were Muslims, that Liuhe Xinyi is a mix of African martial dance and Chinese martial arts. The mechanism is there.
Sheila Melvin presented entirely on the contemporary revival of kunqu which was interesting particularly because theater is still seen in an intensely political light in China, and also because the situation vis-a-vis the government is so fluid.