chapter  4
24 Pages


The treasures of classical Chinese theatre
WithLi Ruru

This chapter argues that jingju, as a live theatrical form of the traditional Chinese culture, has actively responded to the conflicts and challenges of the external world as well as within the genre. Jingju, often known as Peking Opera or Beijing Opera in the West, is one of the most important genres in the classical Chinese song-dance theatre, which consists of 348 regional theatres. Chinese role categorization is based on gender, taking account of age, social status, and personality. There are four basic role types: sheng, dan, jing and chou. The aesthetics of conventionalization is deeply rooted in classical Chinese culture. Apart from the direct financial support for theatre companies, various jingju festivals, exhibitions of excellent performances, and competitions have been organized by both the central and local governments. The positive side of jingju is produced by the practitioners who are making great contributions to their beloved theatrical form.