Sichuan Opera is a type of Chinese operas that has been around since 1700. It has stylized and refined movements, with exquisite and lively acting. Its series of stunts include the famous “face-changing” Bian Lian. Face-changing in Sichuan Opera is a rare art heritage and considered a national treasure by many Chinese. If your China tours cover Sichuan region, never forget to discover the Face Changing of Sichuan Opera.
Bian Lian, a rapid mask-changing technique, is one of the most fascinating, artistic charms of Sichuan Opera. It is an ancient dramatic art form that takes many years to perfect. In Chinese opera, facial makeup is usually painted, but in Sichuan Opera, the performer can change his or her facial makeup in the snap of a finger right on stage. When your Yangtze River cruises come to Sichuan region, never forget to squeeze some time to discover the face changing of Sichuan opera.
By just waving their arms and twisting their heads, performers are able to change their painted masks repeatedly. Master Peng Denghuai, a famous Sichuan Opera maestro, can change 14 masks in 24 seconds and his feat was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. Many tour agents have arranged the Sichuan part discovery along their Shangri-la tour, offering travelers great chances to discover Chinese ancient culture besides exploring the natural beauty of China.
As Bian Lian is an unique aspect of Sichuan Opera, this technique is considered a secret and has always been closely guarded within the family of the performer. A performer can only take in male apprentice only when he himself has become a master of the art. Traditionally, females are forbidden to learn this art as, according to Chinese culture, they marry out of the family and so increase the risk of leaking the secret to outsiders. Many student tours to China have arranged the Facing Changing discovery for their students’ itinerary, offering students great chances to discover Chinese culture.
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