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Beijing Opera - History and Characters

The Beijing Opera, with its distinctive Chinese opera masks, is one of China's most recognizable cultural icons. Combining Music, Dance, Theatre, and Martial Arts, it has existed for over 200 years portraying Historical Events and Literature with beauty, style, and dynamic performance. It is most prominent in Beijing, but almost every Province in China has some form of Opera theatre. With its elaborate costuming, complex musical orchestrations and seemingly limitless Make-up and Mask designs, the Beijing Opera is seeing revitalization in popularity with both young and mature audiences. What is now called the Beijing Opera originally came from a combination of several sources.

Beijing Opera Masks and Face-Painting

One of the more striking aspects of the Beijing Opera is the Masks and Facial Make-up used to portray the various characters in a production. The use of symbolic colors, stylized lines, and fantastical facial exaggeration all serve the performance magic and grandeur. There is really nothing that compares to a skillful and artistic rendition of one of China's favorite stories from historical events and classical literature. The current Beijing Opera originated from a combination of several sources. In 1790, the four great theatre groups from Anhui came to perform for the Royal Family. They used the traditional melodies and aria called Xi Pi. Around 1828, performers from Hubei joined them to form a combined troupe adding their own music called Er Huang.

Magic Tricks - Are You Ready To Learn Them?

Is it easy to do what magicians are doing in front of many spectators? How does it feel if you are the one who is performing these kind of magic sleights? Have you ever wondered how the magician on stage managed to get the rabbit out of the hat? Or how he managed to get the girl out of the coffin when she was sitting right next to you? Well, magic tricks are not easy to learn or perform. But there is a huge art lying behind the madness and the magic. It may not be easy for you to start making people vanish into thin air, but you surely can try your hands at some sort of magic tricks. But most people keep wondering where to start and they end up never starting at all.

Monologues From Plays

When choosing a monologue do you look for monologues from plays or something from a contemporary piece of cinema? This is a question that has plagued many actors looking for the perfect piece to add to their repertoire. The answer to the question lies not in the actor but what the actor is auditioning for. Are you auditioning for a play or a short film? What is the genre of the production being cast? In answering these questions ask yourself what would truly fit in the audition. For example if you are auditioning for something older such as Ibsen, Shaw, Wilde etc. monologues from plays of the era would be the wisest decision. However you are trying to be cast for something much more contemporary you would do well to pick a piece that reflects your versatility in that era.

Actors As Musicians - Is The Face of Musical Theater Changing?

Is the face of musical theater changing? Do professional musical theater actors need to be singers, dancers, actors, ..and musicians? Is a theater revolution at hand? Judging by what has occurred within the last few years on Broadway and in London, the answer appears to be more and more, a yes. Attention began to be paid to this concept of actor- musicians here in America, in 2006, with the Broadway revival of Steven Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd" at the Eugene O'Neill Theater. For Broadway, the staging of this well-known musical in such a way, was a new one. John Doyle, the acclaimed British director, came to New York to illustrate his conception of "Sweeney Todd", with the orchestral score performed by the actors.

Ethel Merman - The Spark Behind Gypsy Broadway's Legend?

Many critics and writers opine that Gypsy Broadway's greatest musical masterpiece would not have been what it was without the exceptional acting talents of Ethel Merman. They bring out the fact that as a mother the aggressive and tyrannical yet likably understood character of Rose strongly portrayed by her was absolutely perfect. The success of Gypsy was mainly because of her and also because of its hilarious choreography. Ethel Merman was central to Gypsy in more ways than one. She was gifted with a booming voice and her brash personality was eminently suited for the stage-obsessed character of Rose. It was then incredible that Ethel Merman lost out to Sound Of Music's Mary Martin when the turn to receive the Tony Awards came.

The Glass Mountain of Learning to Dance - A Tough Climb Because of the Lingo ?

"Thanks for your article. I've been dancing since 1951 and I've been the newsletter editor for the San Diego Swing Dance Club off and on for the past fifteen years. I know what our newsletter readers want. Our club gets about twenty or thirty brand new dancers a month. Only about two or three stick around long enough to really learn the dance. I've interviewed several people that have quit after a few lessons. Their universal complaints are: the instructor talks too much and they don't understand the lingo." Ron Ford, editor of the SDSDC newsletter. When I began writing Imperial Swing Dancing many years ago, I was uncertain about the best way to describe the many dance moves that I was learning at the different swing clubs around St.

Mad Hatter Theory of Dance Lessons

"Take some more tea, " the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly. "I've had nothing yet, " Alice replied in an offended tone, "so I can't take more." "You mean you can't take less, " said the Hatter: "It's very easy to take more than nothing." Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll I remember being struck by the scene in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in which Alice is offended because she is offered tea but is given none - even though she hadn't asked for tea in the first place. So she helps herself to the tea, the bread and the butter. From my perspective as a dance instructor, I believe that the best way for a person to become a good dancer is to listen to Alice when she says, ".

Dancing Centered - A Pilot's Perspective

In the aviation world, an ILS is a ground based Instrument Landing System that simultaneously transmits horizontal and vertical navigation signals to arriving aircraft. If the pilot interprets his cockpit instruments properly, and he flies his airplane so that he keeps the two needles in his ILS display centered during his descent down through the clouds to the airport, then these needles accurately guide him to the runway for a safe landing. Returning back to terra firma, let's consider how this flight scenario applies to our dancing. Just as a pilot needs to keep his horizontal and vertical navigational needles centered to land his airplane successfully, the male dancer needs to keep his horizontal and vertical "centers" aligned in order to lead his partner properly.

A Lesson From Barbie - A Woman's Arm Frame ?

When the male dancer leads his partner into her basic, triple step footwork in the closed position, or he uses a two-hand lead in the open position either to turn her, or to cause her to travel side-to-side, he uses his "body frame" to move her. Frequently, however, the male dancer must lead his partner without the stability of two points of hand contact; that is, without using his "body frame." In this instance, which is typified by the male dancer holding his partner with a one-hand lead in the open position, he must rely upon her "arm frame" to transmit his subtle, tactile cues. The female dancer's "arm frame" is shaped like a very narrow, vertical rectangle that extends above and below the centered, neutral position of her hand that the male dancer holds with his lead hand.

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