The Art of Beijing Opera
07 September 2011 - 4 March 2012
The Beijing opera is a combination of music, dance, song, drama, recitation, pantomime, acrobatics, and martial arts.
In conjunction with costumes, make-up, and props, the genres allow the performers to convey time, location, and contents of the play. The characters and contents of the Beijing opera are taken from classical literature, old myths and popular legends, as well as historical events, but the intention is not to represent reality on stage. Typical features of the Beijing opera include enciphering and typecasting as well as allusions and abstractions.
Only very few aficionados still command the knowledge required for decoding the complex movements, gestures, and mimic features performed on stage. Today the Beijing opera stands between preserving the old tradition and modernising in order to reach a larger audience.
Opera festivals and competitions, television broadcasts, and overseas tours by famous opera troupes help to make this singular stage art more popular among the wider public.