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Chinese Opera




Chinese opera (Beijing, Peking opera) has been one of the most expressive dance,arts of chinese history.
Characters between the acts are usually depicted as high spiritual beings, kings, warriors or princesses of great royalty and reputation.
Vocal and physical attributes to the stage preformances of chinese opera are used to show emotion and desperation to the audience, Usually they tell deep poetic stories about life as a royal one or someone who is of great nature, The makeup and clothing applied to the dances and plays are of elaborate design and take timeless hours to make.

However, The makeup applied to the face and the body takes twice as long, Hair applied to the scalp comes in many forms and is not one single wig like the japanese performers called the (geisha)
Characters have to apply their own (traditional) and creative skills to create a particular style.
Shading of the skin can show age, position in life or beauty, so it is highly expected that all performers apply their facial makeup correctly to the public.



Most of the performers are trained at a very young age,
And they can be as young as the age of 6 years old, many of which perform untill their last days.
Often masters will combine two boys together,
One plays the male part, the other plays the famale part.
Most female characters of chinese opera are infact male, They are trained to sing with a female voice, and they are also trained to dance with female grace, it is required of them to participate in love scenes and forbiding romances.
In western culture they would be recognized as drag queens, or cross dressed actors, but infact in chinese culture they are treated with interest and respect because of what they can perform, many of which can sustain high pitch voices and without any accidents perform female body language and movements.
(this is primarily because they are trained at very young ages)

Facial art

The facial painting applied to the actors faces is amazing, the many colors, shades and shapes vary, from happy, sad, satanic to even unrealistic.
The lines between the shapes and colors create a dragon like look, often frightful and mythical.




Chinese opera is a cascading aray of emotion, costume, music and stories.
Here are some instruments used in chinese opera.
"Thao-Tang"
"Ban"
"Thu-chin"
"pi-pa"
"San-Xien"
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"Yue-Qin"

CLICK THE PLAY BUTTON TO HEAR VARIOUS INSTRUMENTS AND WATCH A SCENE BEING ACTED.
(It is a video)
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
"The cultural Revoloution"
Like many arts, religions, traditions, music and lives, of the cultural revoloution, opera was also a target.
Sadly many of the performers were killed, burned or forced to rid them selves of their talents.
What used to be beautiful and artistic soon turned ugly and un-pleasant, Mao, "the new age god" at that time destroyed the emotions that opera performers could evoke from their fellow society.
He, decided to convert them into living, walking supporters of his mission.

Costumes, headdresses, and other artistic attributes of opera were destroyed, burned and anyone who participated in performing in traditional style would have put their lives highly at risk.
Instead, mao ze dong was clever and converted artistic music and dance into public propoganda.
After the many years of unrest in china
(which still exists)
Opera revived it's self, and now "you" can see many performances of opera, Beijing-peking,is one of china's most talented dance and stage acts.
And is very much worth seeing.

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