By CNTV Panview editor team
Editor’s foreword: "Looking China" International Youth Film Project is co-organized by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture (AICCC), Beijing Normal University and Huilin Foundation, which aims to showcase the contrasting simplicity and glamour, the antiquity and fashion of China through unique perspectives of young foreign film makers.
As of the year 2016, 101 students from 25 countries were invited to participate in the project. They were stationed in 13 municipality, provinces and autonomous regions here in China. Every filmmaker has worked out a 10-minute short film about Chinese culture around the topic of “ethnic minority”.
The film, Goddess Luo, directed by Maria Koufoutious, highlights the mysterious world of Peking Opera. In ancient times, all actors of such plays were men, so they had to play male and female roles.
However in contemporary Peking Opera, women are allowed to perform on stage. Yet for some traditional Chinese theaters in Beijing, they choose to follow the customs passed down from generation to generation.
There’s a 38-year-old male actor who stars nearly every night in the role as Goddess Luo River, a beautiful fairy from an ancient tale whom was also portrayed as one character in the Three Kingdoms, one of the four classical novels of China.
The actor explains the hardships as a female role performer. He has to sing in a high-pitched voice, mimic a woman and dance with feminine grace.
Since he learned how to sing at a young age that’s easy. But, he has a tougher time with dancing, since he was trained for such movements when he was older, so he must insert extra efforts to train for a better stage performance.
When the camera crew follows his other daily routine work instead of his stage life, we can see he is a man just as normal as any others, and only a woman on the Peking Opera stage for two hours a day.
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