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Peking Opera

Updated: 2006-11-21 15:25:47

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Bazi skills are combat skills, falling into three categories: the use of long weapons like broadsword, long-handled spear and staff; the use of short weapons like sword and dagger; and the use of one's bare hands. Combat can be either serious or funny, but both should be emotional and rhythmical.

Cap-wing skills involve the manipulation of wings of the gauze cap. With the neck as the axis, the actor moves the wings of the cap up and down, twirls them, or moves them to the left or right, or from the front to the back. Sometimes, he makes just one of the wings move. The actor makes them move or stop moving to indicate contradictory feelings, hesitation, or sudden joy.

'Beard skills' refer to the manipulation of beards, including ways of pushing, pulling, holding up, spreading, tearing, throwing, shaking, circling, and blowing, to express a variety of feelings. Some of these actions are done at the same time.

'Fan skills' help express many situations. As a special property, the fan can be used almost by all roles, especially popular among xiao sheng (a young man) and hua dan (a young girl maid).

'Hair-swinging skills' are special techniques for a male role to express his abnormal feelings, such as fear, sadness, hatred, or agony amidst death throes. The techniques include swinging, circling, twisting, and spreading over the face or up in the air.

'Sleeve skills' are the lavish, dance-like movements made with flowing sleeves, with dozens of styles likened to clouds, flowing water, cotton fields, waves, wheels, and towers. Sleeves whirled in a wheel-like or flying movement exaggerate the feelings of characters. Holding up, spreading, throwing, shaking, and flicking are most popular movements.

'Tanzi skills', or carpet skills, usually go with movements like somersaults, leaps, jumps, and falls which are mostly carried out on a carpet or rug.

'Waist and leg skills' include somersaults, swaying from right to left and from left to right, kicks, leg stretches and pulls, and upward straightened leg movements. Dances and acrobatics call for supple waists, so that the performers can control their center of gravity.

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