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Dashan - Ambassador to China's Funny Bone

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Mark Rowswell may well be one of the most popular comedians Canada has ever produced. A virtual unknown in his own country, Rowswell has an enormous following in mainland China, where he is known as Dashan. His appearances on Chinese television have drawn up to six hundred million viewers. Together wih his Chinese partner and mentor, Ding Guangquan, Rowswell practices a comedic art form known as crosstalk, whose roots stretch back centuries. While Rowswell was in Beijing studying Mandarin in 1988, he made a guest appearance on a nationally-televised variety show. He became an instant hit and went on to make regular television appearances and to perform live throughout the country. Dashan gives us a unique look at China through the eyes of a man who has become fully at home in Chinese culture. The video captures Rowswell performing, talking about his art and popularity, and discussing the West's role in the development of the new China.

1996, 50 min

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