Cocktail of past and present

Updated: 2015-06-06 08:06

By Satarupa Bhattacharjya In Shanghai(China Daily)

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Cocktail of past and present

A museum photo of the city's reconstruction in the mid '90s. [Photo Provided To China Daily]

Fan Ruoan, a professor of English and comparative literature at the university, whose love for opera draws him to rehearsals in different parts of the city is here today.

"Survival doesn't mean just being around, evolution is a part of it," Fan, 38, says of the need to cultivate an attitude for cultural preservation among the Chinese youth.

In 2004, when a contemporary version of The Peony Pavilion was shown at a Fudan auditorium, people enjoyed it, he says, pointing to improvisation as a means to make past cultural elements relevant to present generations. Fan also says he often visits a functional 90-year-old opera house that's located on Fuzhou Road in central Shanghai.

The city landscape significantly changed in the past 15 years owing to planned reconstruction, and along with it, people's lifestyles.

Away from the university's Handan campus, where classical music is somewhat still in vogue, scenes from bars and nightclubs on the Bund reveal how young Shanghainese revel in techno.

The Shanghai dialect too has been affected by the city's attempts to become international, sociologists say.