Jiaochuan Zoushu (story-telling-on-touring), with its special style, is one of the most important operas in Ningbo.
Jiaochuan Zoushu was often performed in open courtyards and village halls. In its early stages, the opera was sung by a single artist who beat on small goblet with chopsticks without the accompaniment of other musical instruments.
To celebrate the victory of the War of Resistance against the Japanese Aggression, the artists started to use the paper fan and handkerchief as props, and beat bamboo clappers and bamboo drum to yield rhythms. Later on, the two-stringed Chinese fiddle and dulcimer were also introduced to the art form. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, more musical instruments such as the lute and flute found roles within Jiaochuan Zoushu.
There are over 30 melodies in Jiaochuan Zoushu including Small Board, Fu, Kang, Ci, Wawa, Luantai, Crying, Shuidifan, Zhengpinghu, Sandun, Wugeng and Wulin.
Most of the performers worked on farms during busy days and performed during leisure times. Only a few of them solely performed for a living.