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Mainstay in the Field of Comic Dialogue: Ma Ji


Xiangsheng master Ma Ji
Ma Ji, originally called Ma Shuhuai, was born in 1934 in Beijing. For a time he was an apprentice in a factory. In 1951, he began to take an interest inXiangsheng. In 1956, he was enrolled by the Central Broadcasting Recitation and Ballad Troupe as a professionalXiangshengactor, and he studied under Hou Baolin in his spare time. He now serves as an actor in the Central Broadcasting Recitation and Ballad Troupe.
Ma Ji (left) performing Xiangsheng with Tang Jiezhong
Ma Ji is one of the representative artists who emerged following the founding of new China, a notedXiangshengmaster and performer. He not only inherits and developsXiangshengof the Hou School (school of the master performer Hou Baolin) but also creates his own art style, which is followed by many successors. He contributes a lot to China'sXiangshengart.

Ma Ji excels at performing new items reflecting real life. Apart from satire, he pioneers new items praising the new life and new heroes and heroines. In addition to performing traditional items he started writing and performing cross-talk comic dialogues such asOde to Friendship, Storm on the State and Multistory Restaurant, and solo comic dialogues likeThe Universal-Brand Cigarette. InFive Officers Contend for Fame, he was joined by several other comedians. Ma Ji also set great store by theoretical research intoXiangshengso as to make his creations more socially relevant. His books includeSelected Xiangsheng by Ma JiandAn Informal Discussion on the Art of Xiangsheng.

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