Published: April 7th 2008March 27th 2008
Fisherman and Lady
2 of the Opera characters.
The Peking Opera is a huge part of China's history and culture and it dates back over 200 years. Each show is filled with singing, dancing, mime, dialogue, and some acrobat fighting. There is no specific topic in Peking Opera, as the plots of the different shows can range from an old, Chinese fairy tale, to a depiction of a historical event. The costumes are very elaborate and most often hand-made. The make-up is also very intricately applied so that they depict the sex of the character and their main facial expression. As for the music, the musicians play percussion, stringed, and wind instruments throughout the show. The "er hu" is a famous Chinese stringed instrument that can produces a very high, but very beautiful sound (when played correctly). They also have a "yueqin" (four strings), a "Sanxian" (three strings), horns, flutes, and gongs.
To be honest, the Peking Opera is not my favorite thing in the world. I think that the high-pitched singing and the banging of the cymbals is too much to handle. However, it is an interesting cultural experience. If you ever make it to China, I would advise you to see it because it's definitely full
Beginning of the Monkey King
The beginning of the play...
of Chinese culture. Also, whether you have heard it on a CD or watched it on Youtube or in a movie, it's definitely better in person. Two very famous stories are, "Farewell My Concubine," and a story about the Monkey King.
The Chinese Acrobatic show was awesome. They had people flipping and balancing and doing all sorts of crazy stuff. At one point, they had a guy balancing on a board, with this table thing on top of him, then two girls on top of that, then another stand, and then a second guy balancing on another board on the top. It's ridiculous. Then at another point, they had two people jump from about 15 or 20 feet up, down onto a see-saw, that then, flipped the guy on the other end (who by the way, was wearing stilts), up in the air so he flipped and then easily landed on the stilts! Incredible. They can also 4 sets of spinning plates in each hand at once. It's undescribable. They have so much going on in the show and they are all very different acts, but at the same time, along the same lines. You should definitely try to
The Monkey King
The Monkey King preparing for battle.
check this show out.
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