Two young Kunqu actresses, Dan Miu (left), Jijing Hu (right), rehearse in Kunqu Opera Theater in Suzhou, China, on Dec. 26th, 2017. "Sifan 思凡” is one act of the Kunqu play “孽海记”, which tells the story of a Buddhist nun. She betrayed her beliefs and eloped with her lover, a Buddhist. Usually, it is performed by a single person, but this is the updated version -"duo Sifan" - performed by two actresses.
The "duo Sifan" hasn’t been performed on the stage for about 30 years because it requires superb skills and harmonious corporations. It asks the two performers to act as one single person. One’s acting should be like another’s reflection in the mirror.
Additionally, Kunqu Opera is intangible and is transmitted from generation to generation by oral and face-to-face communication. The only two artists who can perform this act are around 80 years old, so there is not much time for them to pass these skills onto young actors. They decided to do this production before the performances, meaning the two actresses only had one month to rehearse.