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Chinese youngsters learn Peking Opera

(CNTV)

10:29, September 04, 2012

Chinese youngsters learn Peking Opera. (CNTV)

China’s traditional Peking Opera is gaining popularity with children in Beijing. Some one hundred children are taking part in a summer camp to learn how to perform the traditional Peking Opera. It’s part of a project to revive the art form.

Six year old Lin Xi is having her make-up done.

She is being transformed from a little girl into the "Hua Dan" or female role in Chinese traditional Peking Opera.

Lin is performing a short episode from Peking Opera on stage today, to show what she has learned at a two-day summer camp. And she is having lots of fun.

Lin Xi, camper of Peking Opera summer camp, said,"I think singing Peking Opera is awesome, I can sing just with my nose. "

Lin Xi is one of the some 100 children who recently joined in the Peking Opera summer camp.

Children receive training from professional actors and actresses in basic skills like singing and operatic gestures.

Traditional art forms are undergoing a revival and parents want to promote a sense of cultural identity in their children.

Wang Jue, parent, said,"Peking Opera is our traditional culture, and we are Chinese, we should not forget our roots. Many foreigners are even learning Peking Opera these days, I think we parents should guide children to learn more about this old tradition. "

Peking Opera is a synthesis of music, dance, art and acrobatics which dates back more than 200 years in China.

The opera was the main entertainment programme in the old days of Imperial China.

But it has been in decline, and in the fast-paced modern world there are fears that it no longer appeals to the younger generation who think that it is old-fashioned and slow.

Li Shiyou is the man behind the initiative.

Li Shiyou, director of Peking Opera Theater of Beijing, said,"We are seeing serious shortage of talent in Peking Opera. That’s why we are organising the Peking Opera summer camp. We want to promote Peking Opera among children. We are planning to bring Peking Opera to classes for children in the school, and we will continue the summer camp as well."

Organizers hope the enthusiasm of the young will breathe new life into the ancient art.

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