Top Chinese leaders watch Peking Opera in New Year gala

10:54, December 31, 2009      

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Taking time off from their political meetings and overseas visits, senior Chinese leaders on Wednesday enjoyed some traditional Chinese theatre.

At the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing the leaders, including President Hu Jintao and top legislator Wu Bangguo, attended Peking Opera to celebrate the new year.

The program included Peking Opera classic "The Red Lantern" with its storyline set against the backdrop of the The War Against Japanese Aggression and other classics such as "Si Lang Tan Mu" or "the Fourth son visits his mother". Other pieces included episodes from Romance of The Three Kingdoms. The operas are based on Chinese history, folklore and increasingly, contemporary lives of ordinary people.

The 200 year old Peking Opera is regarded as one of China's cultural treasures. The gala also combined instrumental music, singing, dance and acrobatics.
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