978-0-7103-1208-2 / 9780710312082

Secrets of the Chinese Drama: A Complete Explanatory Guide to Actions and Symbols as Seen in the Performance of Chinese Dramas


Publisher:Kegan Paul



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About the book:

The Peking Opera with its magnificent costumes, dramatic makeup and exquisite movements is a feast for the eyes but few westerners understand the symbolism and meaning of China's traditional drama, and even many Chinese today have no detailed knowledge of their cultural heritage. Mei Lan Fang, who specialized in female roles, was the most famous star of Peking Opera and the real life inspiration for Farewell My Concubine. This book is in three parts. The first deals with the Chinese theatre, its costumes, make-up, stage properties and musical instruments, character types and the development of Chinese drama. The second deals with technique, including sleeve, hand, arm, foot, leg and waist movements, pheasant feather movements and some symbolic actions. The third presents a classification and synopsis of fifty classic dramas. There are over ninety photographs in the volume illustrating famous costumes, scenes and performers, including many of Mei Lan Fang, and numerous plans and drawings.

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