Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mei Lanfang

Went to the Ministry of Culture's Chinese New Year party this evening. This year they held it at the Mei Lanfang Theatre in the west of Beijing. So alongside the New Year address by the Minister, Cai Wu, we were treated to a lecture on Peking Opera and a short performance. The former was a tad dry but the latter was well chosen: lively, fabulous costumes, lots of acrobatics... 
Mei Lanfang was probably the most famous star of Peking Opera, always playing female roles in a 50 year stage career which started aged 10. His hey days were the 20s and 30s when he frequently performed overseas, and palled it up with Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford.
Anyway, nice evening and great buffet - though the plates were so heavy everyone had sore wrists by the end of it.

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