Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Beijing Opera

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.

Beijing Opera

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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Markets in Beijing

Panjiayuan Market

Yashow Market

Read more on Beijing Cloisonne


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Media Restrictions in China

Chinese authorities will allow foreign journalists more access to the country in the run up to the 2008 Olympic Games.

At present, journalists need government approval to report outside Shanghai and Beijing but a Foreign Ministry spokesperson has confirmed that under new regulations, reporters will need only the permission of their interview subjects from now on until the end of the Games.

The new rules come in to affect from January 1, 2007 and will run to October 17, 2008.

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