(Jing Opera, or Peking/ Beijing Opera), and Kunqu (Kun
Opera) both enjoy national opera status in China. They
are highly refined, visually stunning and very demanding
on the actor. The four elements of singing, recitation,
acting/movement, and martial arts form the basis of
this musical and dramatic art. Strict control and pace,
but also immense fluidity, are required in the performers
use of hands, eyes, body, and feet. Dynamic interaction
between actors and musicians in performance further
adds to its vibrancy.
recognition of the intrinsic value of Kunqu, in May
2001 UNESCO declared it one of the first 19 Masterpieces
of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Among the 46 new inscriptions of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2010, UNESCO has declared ‘Peking Opera’ as one of them.
and Kunqu are fascinating and challenging to anyone with
an interest in the performing arts. They have more to
offer now to the contemporary arts than ever before because
of their unique ability to combine the poetic and the
surreal with very earth-bound emotions and aspirations.
The richness of their representational techniques and
artistry in music, singing, speech, movement, and staging
are all there to be tapped by innovative minds.