Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Beijing Opera

Beijing Opera traces its roots to outdoor entertainment in China's markets and streets.

Beijing Opera

Both musicians and performers developed a "strident" style to make themselves overheard above the crowds. Beijing Opera can also include mime and acrobatics.

Although called Beijing Opera or formally Peking Opera, the art form originated in Anhui and Hubei provinces in south central China, and became popular in the mid-nineteenth century when it was patronized by the Qing Dynasty court in the capital.

Beijing Opera runs to over 1,000 storylines based on historical events, popular fiction and Chinese legends.

There are 4 main actors' roles sheng, dan, jing, chou which are further sub-divided:

sheng - leading male roles
- laosheng - bearded old men
- xiaosheng - young men
- wensheng - public servants, scholars and sages
- wusheng - soldiers (acrobats)

dan - female roles
- loadan - older women
- qingyi - costumed aristocrats
- daomadan - Chinese Amazons
- caidan- female comics

jing - painted face parts of warriors, demons, statesmen

chou - the clown


Beijing Opera Venues

Changan Grand Theater
Evening performances
Jianguomen Subway Station; Circle & East-West Lines

Lao She Teahouse
Evening performances
Hepingmen Subway Station; Circle Line

Old Station Theater
Evening performances/afternoon Sundays
Qianmen Subway Station; Circle Line

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