Kunqu, one of the earliest forms of traditional Chinese drama, has more than 700 years history and awarded the first batch of “the representative of human oral and non-material relic” by UNESCO in 1997.
Kunqu opera is also called Kunshang tune-pattern. It is said that it was invented first by GU Jian who lived in the late of Yuan Dynasty and the beginning of Ming Dynasty. Wei Liangfu, lived in Ming Dynasty governed by Emperor Jiaqing（1552——1566）, made major changes to the songs of Kunshan and created a new and exquisite singing genre---levigation tune pattern. Kunqu, blending the poetry, music, song, dance and drama together, hold a very important position in the history of Chinese literature, drama, music and dance and also has an everlasting influence on many dramas, including Peking Opera familiar to the majority. In order to make the accompanying music suit these new songs, Wei Liangfu made adaptation. For instance, usually there aren’t dancing acts while singing the Peking opera, and there is no large scale dancing movement while singing, so the plays such as "Keep off Horse", "Night Rush", and "Zhaojun Chusai" that have festive-like singing and dancing all are transplanted and processed from Kunqu opera. Many masters of Peking operas such as Mei Lanfang also perform in Kunqu opera. Therefore, Kunqu has been regarded as the ancestor of Chinese dramas,with its hometown in Kunshan, Suzhou.
Place to enjoy Kunqu: Qinlan Hall; No.12 Cuizhu Lane near the Bifeng Workshop