Art from China

Peking Opera by Li, age 13.

Peking Opera by Li, age 13.

This piece of art is from the Sichuan Province in China, it is titled, “Peking Opera” by Li, age 13.

The Peking opera or Beijing opera is China’s national opera; it came into being around 1790. Opera is very popular in China.  It is a form of traditional Chinese theater which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics. With their elaborate and colorful costumes (known as Xingtou or, more popularly, Xifu in Chinese), performers are the only focal points on Peking opera’s typically sparse stage. They utilize the skills of speech, song, dance, and martial arts in movements that are symbolic and suggestive, rather than realistic. Performers follow a variety of stylistic conventions that help audience understand the plot of the story. The layers of meaning within each movement must be expressed in time with the music. Li offers, “Chinese people love to watch Peking opera in their spare time…” She hopes to someday be in the Peking opera.

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