While in Beijing, we went to see the Beijing Opera. It was an interesting experience. For our Western ears, the sound was a little hard to take. I could appreciate the talent and the training that the singers must have to produce these sounds and music. But, 1 hour was enough!
Sadly though, it's a dying art form, as the audience is more and more comprised of tourists and the much older generation who grew up listening to this (instead of the latest pop sensation with more looks than talent).
Beijing Opera is a kind of Chinese Opera which arose in the mid-19th century and was extremely popular in the Qing dynasty court. It is widely regarded as the highest expression of the Chinese culture.
There are four main roles
* Sheng (生, Male role)
* Dan (旦, Female role)
* Jing (净, Painted face male role)
* Chou (丑, Clown role)
Except for the second role, the other three roles represent male characters.
There is an explanation about why the roles take the names above. It is said that they were chosen to mean oppositely. Sheng in Chinese may mean "strange" or "rare", but the chief male role is a character of well known. Dan, which means "morning" or "masculine", is the contrary of the feminine nature of the characters. Jing means "clean". But in fact, the paintings on face make the characters look like unclean but colorful. And Chou in Chinese sometime represents the animal "ox", which, in some senses, is slow and silent in contrast to Chou characters who are usually quick and talkative.
USM, enhanced colors, some cropping. All comments appreciated!
Critiques | Translate
Michael_Gan (2776) 2005-08-02 16:45
Hello Ian. I also had the pleasure to visit the Beijing opera (see this picture) and just like you, I also thought that one hour was enough... But we have to admit that the costumes and make-up are a real treat for the eye! I think your portrait is nice and clear and the sharpness is good for the given circumstances with artificial light (I assume you didn't use flash). Perhaps you could have waited for another moment with a little more action or expression, as her pose is a bit static IMHO.
PeterDF (419) 2005-08-03 12:31
Just spectacular colors in this photo! You captured the beauty of this scene very well. It's really quite beautiful.
- Copyright: Ian Sewell (IanSewell) (579)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2005-06-16
- Categories: Festivals, Ceremony
- Exposure: f/5.6, 1/80 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Chinese opera [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2005-08-02 15:04