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Troupe to herald Lunar New Year with Peking Opera

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-26 07:39

Troupe to herald Lunar New Year with Peking Opera

Dou Xiaoxuan is one of the young actresses playing in the Peking Opera shows this weekend.[Photo provided to China Daily]

On Saturday, when the first day of the Chinese New Year is celebrated, Jingju Theater Company of Beijing will present a show at the concert hall of the Forbidden City.

Excerpts from traditional Peking Opera pieces, such as Auspicious Dragon and the Phoenix and One Good Turn Deserves Another will be staged along with contemporary works, including Red Detachment of Women and Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy. They will be presented by Hu Wen'ge, Chi Xiaoqiu and more than a dozen other performers from the theater company that was founded in 1979.

On Sunday, the company will present another show along with other Peking Opera troupes from Tianjin and Hebei province, featuring veterans like Tan Xiaozeng and Wang Rongrong.

Peking Opera has a history of more than 200 years and was declared a world intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2010.

The Jingju troupe has successfully held shows on the first day of the Spring Festival at the Forbidden City for the past three years.

"We present the audience with the most classic Peking Opera pieces and with some of the most popular stars from different generations," says Li Shiyou, vice-president of Jingju Theater Company of Beijing.

Shang Huimin, 69, a granddaughter of the late Peking Opera master Shang Xiaoyun, will perform on Sunday along with her student Zha Sina. Their programs include Han Ming Fei, which tells the story of Wang Zhaojun, one of the four renowned beauties of China during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220).

Mei Lanfang, Cheng Yanqiu, Xun Huisheng and Shang Xiaoyun are considered the top four Peking Opera masters. They're known for their nan dan (males playing female roles) performances around a century ago. They also created four major performing styles named after them. Shang Huimin is an inheritor of her grandfather's Shang style.

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