There are a lot of ignorant, narrow-minded, uninformed and just plain stupid people who will tell you that the Beijing Opera is weird and boring. I agree with these people.
The biggest problem for me was the pacing. I'm used to American action movies, which routinely feature shootings, stabbings, sex scenes, car chases, helicopter crashes, nuclear explosions and at least one beheading before the opening title. Whereas in the Beijing Opera, it can take a performer as long as eight minutes to convey an idea such as, ``Well, here I am!''
The performer conveys this by moving slowly around the stage making traditional mime-style motions to the accompaniment of an orchestra playing traditional Chinese instruments that sound, to the ignorant Western ear, like an untuned piano being attacked by beavers. Every so often the orchestra makes a loud noise that sounds like, quote, ''SPROING,'' and at that instant the performer suddenly stops and stares directly at the audience with an expression of what appears to be astonishment, as if to say, ``Wow! You are still here!''
11 August 2008
Posted by shadowfax at 10:25 PM