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Mei Lanfang and Peking Opera: A Guide to China's Traditional Theater and the Art of Its Great Master

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Author: Mei Shaowu;
Language: English
Page: 198
Publication Date: 08/2014
ISBN: 9787510450266
Publisher: New World Press
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Since some activities in everyday life cannot possibly be reproduced on the stage, Peking Opera gives expression to them in a symbolic way.Thus, particular bodily movements signify opening or closing a door, entering or leaving a room, going upstairs or down, climbing a mountain or wading across a stream.Circling the stage, whip in hand, suggests riding a horse; riding in a carriage is represented by an attendant holding flags painted with a wheel design on either side of the performer; walking in a circle indicates a long journey; four soldiers and four generals flanking both sides of the stage represent an army several thousand strong; two men somersaulting under a spotlight shows the audience how they are groping and fighting in the dark;and on a stage bare of scenery,a performer holding an oar or paddle and doing knee bends to simulate a heavy swell.demonstrates travelling on a boat....The scenery used in modern theater is out of place on the Peking Opera stage because it would only serve to restrict the performers' acting.The setting is created entirely by a performer's acting, which mentally brings the audience to any place where the story of the drama takes place.Thus, the scene could be a vast open plain with birds flying in the sky or a broad expanse of water with fish swimming about; all this is projected onto the stage through the mind's eye of the audience.
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Mei Lanfang and Peking Opera: A Guide to China's Traditional Theater and the Art of Its Great Master
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