Traditional Chinese theatre, originally devised in 1790 as part of the Qianlong emperor's birthday celebration. Highly conventionalized and symbolic, it combines orchestral music, speech, song, dance, and acrobatics. The performers enact dramas based on historical epics, legend, and myth. The characters' roles and social ranks are conveyed through elaborate costumes and stylized makeup. The actor Mei Lanfang brought its influence to the West through his tours of Russia and the U.S. in the 1930s. Jingxi traditionally employed an all-male cast with female impersonators, but in the late 20th century it expanded its scope to admit female actors.
Variants of JINGXI
jingxi or ching-hsi, also called Beijing opera or Peking opera
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