Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Learn something about Beijing

POSTCARD FROM CHINA

BEIJING OPERA MASKS
Li Qi, a role in the opera White Damask Silk.
Ba Jie, a role in the opera Ba and Luo Families Making Peace.

你好 (Nǐ hǎo)

HI!


Beijing, formerly romanized as Peking is the capital of the People's Republic of China. Beijing is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China and one of the most populous cities in the world. Beijing from the chinese characters for north and capital means literally the Northern Capital.

Beijing is China's second largest city by urban population after Shanghai and is the country's political, cultural and educational center, and also home to the headquarters for most of China's largest state owned companies. Beijing's Capital International Airport is the second busiest in the world by passanger traffic.

Beijing Opera

Beijing opera or Peking opera is a kind of Chinese opera which arose in the mid 19th century and was extremely popular in the Qing Dynasty court. Its widely regarded as one of the cultural treasures of China. With its fascinating and artistic accompanying music, singing and costumes, the Beijing Opera is China national opera. Full of Chinese cultural facts, the opera presents the audience with an encyclopedia of Chinese culture, as well as unfolding stories, beautiful paintings, graceful gestures and martial arts. Since Beijing Opera enjoys a higher reputation than other local operas, almost every province in China has more than one Beijing Opera troupe. Opera is so popular among Chinese people, especially seniors, that even "Beijing Opera Month" has been declared.

There are four roles in Beijing Opera. The roles in Beijing Opera fall into four categories - Sheng (Male role), Dan (Female role), Jing (Painted face male role) and Chou (Clown role). Costumes are an integral part of the Beijing Opera performance, in the early days, made of wool or coarse cloth, later, satin, crepe and silk were used, decorated with various meticulously embroidere patterns. Performers have two main methods of makeup: masks and facial painting. The frequent on stage change of masks, without the audience noticing, is a special technique, known as changing faces. The meaning of colors in Beijing Opera Masks: Gold and silver colors are usually used for Gods and spirits.

Li Qi

Li Qi with an asymmetrical black broken-flower face stars in "The trial of Li Qi, based on a story of the Ming Dynasty". Li Qi, a bandit, is captured while trying to rob a high officials house. at his trial, he implicates a man called Wang Liang, against whom he has a grudge. Wang Liang is put in jail, but his servant Chen Tang, knowing of the deep love between Wang Liang and his wife, seeks out the bandit and begs him to clear his master. Moved by the servants plea, Li Qi revokes his original testimony and Wang Liang is acquitted.

Ba Jie

Ba Jie with a black broken-flower face is a character in the list opera "reconciliation between Ba and Luo Families" adapted from an episode in Green Peony a novel of the Qing dynasty. Reconciliation tells about a young man, Luo Hongxun, on his way to his wedding in Shandong Province. When passing over wild jujube ridge, he gets into trouble with Ba Jie, chief of the Ba Family stockade, because he doesnt know their language. ultimately, through the mediation of two greenwood heroes, Bao Zian and Fatty Huang, Lou's family is reconciled with the Ba Family.

有一个愉快的一天 (Yǒu yīgè yúkuài de yītiān)

Have a nice day!


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