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One of the Three Oldest Dramtic Art Forms in the World

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Chinese Opera is one of the “three oldest dramatic art forms in the world” , along with “Greece tragic-comedy and Indian Sanskrit” (China). From Chinese Opera comes many forms of opera, over 300 types , but the most well known is the Peking Opera (China). The Peking Opera is known by many names, like “Eastern Opera” (history), and “jingqiang” (Xu), but the most common name in the Western world is the “Beijing Opera” (Wertz).
Peking Opera is over 200 years old (Wertz).It started in approximately “1790, when four opera troupes from the province of Anhui came to Beijing to perform on the occasion of the 80th birthday of the emperor, Qianlong” (HISTORY; Xu). It was originally performed in “open air, teahouses or temple courtyards” (Wertz). Peking Opera is a blend of “singing, reading, acting, fighting, and dancing” (history). “Today as in the past century, performers are first trained in acrobatics, followed by singing and acting” (Wertz).
Peking Opera is said to be a live “encyclopedia of Chinese Culture” (Wertz). Because of this, and many other highly regarded qualities, China has made the Peking opera its “national opera” (Wertz). The Beijing Opera is such an important part of Chinese culture that “Beijing Opera Month” has been declared (Wertz).
Many of the classic operas from the Qing dynasty would, most likely, not be able to be performed by today’s actors. They consisted of “more than 24 acts; to rehearse them would take years and to stage them several days” (HISTORY). The epic play, Shengpingcaofa, was based on the tale, Journey to the West; is considered “one of the four great classic Chinese novels” (HISTORY). This play has over 240 acts (HISTORY).
There is a saying that Chinese actors use that helps us to understand the ...

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...seen that it will have a great fall in popularity among the people of China anytime soon.

Works Cited

"HISTORY OF PEKING OPERA." pekingopera. N.p.. Web. 5 Dec 2013.

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"Washington Chu Shan Chinese Opera Institute." Washington Chu Shan Chinese Opera Institute.
Wertz, R.. N.p.. Web. 5 Dec 2013.
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Xu, Chengbei. Peking Opera: The Performance behind the Painted Faces. Beijing: China
Intercontinental, 2010. Print.
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