Beijing: Deyun She 15 Year Anniversary Special Featured by Guo Degang

It’s been a year since the last time I went to Beijing. I spent around 3 weeks, tried my best to explore this world-class metropolis like an expad. Sad thing is, I only managed to make one post (10 Beijing Food We Can’t Live Without) after that trip, and it was about food. Today, as I am planning my trip to Beijing again, I looked at my old pictures from last year, and they just makes me so reminiscent. That’s how this post, and some following posts come about, just to tell you some stories that I talked to every one of my friends about.

If you go to Beijing and you would like a taste of traditional culture, you might want to make a quick stop at Tianqiao (天桥茶馆) or Deyun She (德云社). Founder of these tea houses is Guo Degang, one of the most famous Xiangsheng (相声) performers throughout the history of Xiangsheng in China.

Wikipedia has an introduction in Chinese: ( English version was too brief )

郭德纲1973年出生于天津。8岁开始拜高庆海学习评书,曾演说《杨家将》、《张广泰》、《隋唐》。9岁跟随相声表演艺术家常宝丰学习相声,曾受白全福高英培前辈指导。后拜金文声为师学习南路快书、王派快板。1988年河北梆子老艺人小达子先生学唱梆子,曾演出《辕门斩子》《六月雪》《老少换》《蝴蝶杯》等剧。1989年随老艺人刘炳文先生学唱评剧工文丑、老生花脸彩旦。曾演出《卷席筒》、《唐知县参诰命》、《打金枝》、《秦香莲》等剧。1990年代以前,郭德纲曾久居天津红桥区大红桥儿南北竹林村一带。

1995年郭德纲开始闯荡北京1996年建立相声表演团体德云社(初名“北京相声大会”),首先提出相声回归剧场,同年开展工作,组织演员抢救曲目,长期在剧场演出传统相声,并在继承传统的基础上创新。1998年与著名相声表演艺术家范振钰合作,2000年与北京相声名家张文顺合作。同年也与于谦开始了合作,郭德纲和于谦2000年时跟随北京曲艺团到农村演出,二人合说的一段《学小曲》是两人的首次合作[1],2002年,二人开始搭档[2]。而后郭德纲又曾与张永久王世勇杨进明合作。2003年北京相声小品邀请赛以相声《你好北京》获组委会特别奖

他的弟子包括潘云侠、何云伟、曹云金、岳云鹏、孔云龙、朱云峰、栾云平、赵云侠、于云霆(于谦之子)、李云杰(相声师承为杨进明)、刘云天(刘云天拜师郭德纲学的是评书,相声拜师则为孟凡贵)、郭鹤鸣、曹鹤阳等。

Founded by Guo Degang in 1996, Deyun She gathers some of the best Xiangsheng artists who perform regularly in those tea houses, or on some bigger events like the Annual spring festival evening gala.

During my short stop in Beijing, I heard that Deyun She was embracing its 15 year Anniversary and holding special performance of Guo Degang on June 12….and I only knew it on June 11. I called the tea house to inquiry the tickets, and not-much-out-of-my-expectation, the tickets were sold out much earlier. So I decided just to go the show 1 hour earlier, chances were I could get some tickets from those scalpers, as I did when getting a ticket for a show National Center Performing Arts.
I do have the luck. I saw a lot of people surrounding this lady who bought 2 extra tickets and wanted to sell them at a higher price (hm, I don’t think she’s one of those ‘scalpers’, but…does selling at a higher price makes her one, technically? ). And immediately, a bunch of other people who were desperately seeking tickets came up to the lady and even started bidding for the tickets.
One of them even took out his ID, showing the lady that he came from Inner Mongolia to Beijing, specially for the show. I know my Hong Kong ID could buy me a bigger advantage, so I took my HK ID card out….and made up a story of how I lost my tickets, which, not-so-surprisingly, overshadows the guy with the Inner Mongolia ID, bought me 1 of the 2 tickets that the lady had.
Yay! I’m glad that there was no expads who were fighting for the tickets with me.
Anyway, this is how the inside looks:
Definitely a full-house.
Guo Degang made one really really long stand-up show (单口相声), featuring a story from 九尾狐 (or, literally, a fox with 9 tails). It lasted for more then 30 minutes, so I didn’t record all of them.
Nevertheless, I did captured some of apprentices, who are also very famous, although I can’t recall their name when I am writing this blog:
They makes fun of Jay Chaw, the famous Taiwanese singer:

Xiang Sheng performers pay an extensive attention to their basic skills, the artist on the left (normally called 逗哏) did a well-known piece called 报菜名 (or, literally, stating the names of the dishes)

Also, a piece known as 报地名 (or, literally, stating the names of countries/regions)

Traveller’s tips:

I advice going there by taxi, tell the taxi driver that you want to go to 天桥 (pinyin: tianqiao).

Follow the official site of Deyun She for the show information: http://www.guodegang.org/bbs/portal.php?mod=list&catid=3

Disclaimer: All videos captured are not strictly used for personal entertainment. No copy right infringement is intended. All rights reserved to De Yunshe

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