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Transcript of Facial makeup
Beijing Opera has a 200-year-long history. Its main melodies originated from Xipi and Erhuang in Anhui and Hubei.
The form was extremely popular in the Qing dynasty court and has come to be regarded as one of the cultural treasures of China.
Beijing Opera is a synthesis of stylized action, singing, dialogue and mime, acrobatic fighting and dancing to represent a story or depict different characters and their feelings of gladness, anger, sorrow, happiness, surprise, fear and sadness.
The characters may be loyal or treacherous, beautiful or ugly, good or bad, their images being vividly manifested.
In ancient times, Beijing Opera was performed mostly on stage in the open air, teahouses or temple courtyards.
Beijing opera makeup
They can reflect the identity, status, personality and appearance of the characters and therefore can intensify the artistic appeal on stage.
Facial makeup in beijing Opera is featured by painting brows, eyelids and jowls in various patterns such as bat, swallow wing and butterfly wing. Also, it is characterized by portraying facial expressions with exaggerated nasal fossas and lipped fossas.
There four roles of beijing Opera but only the jing and chou roles have elaborate facial make-up
Southern and Northern Dynasties Period, more than 1,400 years ago, when leading actors used to wear masks.
As the operatic arts developed, performers gradually took off their masks and painted colorful patterns on their faces instead so people could better see their facial expressions.
Facial make-up enables audiences to grasp the personality of a character portrayed and the character's social status at a glance.
Red color indicates a positive character and also mean prosperity, loyalty, courage heroism, intelligence and bravery.
A typical "red full face" is Guan Yu, general of the period of the Three Kingdoms (220-280), famed for his faithfulness to his Emperor, Liu Bei.
Black: symbolizes roughness and fierceness.
The black face indicates either a rough and bold character or an impartial and selfless personality.
Typical of the former are General Zhang Fei with a black cross butterfly face (of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms)
Yellow signifie fierceness, ambition and
Shown is Tuxing Sun with a yellow symbolic face, a dwarf general with special powers in the opera "Three Mountain Pass."
Different colors can distinguish
nobility from the common folk,
goodness from evil or
loyalty from treachery.
Purple color is sometimes used as a substitute for red. In its own right, purple can represent justice and sophistication.
Hou Yi with a purple three-tile face was a grain officer versed in black magic in the opera "Green Dragon Pass".
Blue color represents neutrality stubbornness, astuteness and fierceness.
Shown is Xiahou Dun with a blue pointed three-tile face, Cao Cao's most trusted general in the opera Bowang Slope."
Typical characters are Cao Cao, powerful and cruel prime minister in the time of the Three Kingdoms,
Green color is impulsive and violent and depicts surly stubbornness, impetuosity and a total lack of self-restraint.
Zheng Wun with a green pointed three-tile face plays a general in the opera "Green Dragon Ps.
White color indicate that the character is evil and hypocritical
Each pattern is rooted in his ability to make subtle and interesting changes within the human face, and each pattern has its own symbolic meaning.
Decorative makeup refers to the facial decorations of Sheng and Dan actors.
In the early days, Sheng actors and Dan actresses put on light makeup. At the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), stage lighting was used, and actors and actresses had to put on heavy makeup by using greasepaint rather than fine powder.
Lian Pu,refers to facial designs for Jing and Chou roles. It originated from daily life experience, describing such changes of expression. Most facial designs attach great importance to the eyes and eyebrows.
. These types are widely used to represent generals, officials, heroes, gods and ghosts.
The facial designs for the Jing roles are made by painting, powdering and coloring in the basic forms of Zheng Lian.
In Beijing style opera, designs are painted on actors and actresses faces to represent personality of their roles. That’s why it is called also “painting of the heart and soul”.
The defining characteristic of this type of face paint is a small patch of white chalk around the nose.
Chou refer to clown role, it can be male or female (cai dan). Chou has the meaning "ugly". They are sly or stupid, sometimes mean, but invariably ridiculous and laughter-provoking.
Chou roles can be divided into
wen chou (civilian)
wu chou (martial)
(the petty painted face)
This is a very common type of painted face, it resembles a full human face with all of its natural features.
Three-Tile Face is also called Three-Pit Face. This is a variation of the full face. It is widely used type of painted face characterized by symmetry of design, varied colors, and meticulous brushwork, like a gongbi painting. It embodies all the basics of Beijing opera facial makeup.
As the name suggests, this is a rather uncomely makeup used chiefly to represent a thug or an accomplish in a crime.
Peking opera have 15 basic facial patterns, but there are over 1000 specific variations.
Jing refers to painted-face roles, known popularly as Hualian. Jing role can divided into
The Dan refers to any female role in Beijing opera. Dan roles were originally divided into four subtypes.
The sheng role refers to any male role in Beijing opera. Dan roles were originally divided into three subtypes.
This makeup represents a eunuch who tyrannizes people. Only two colors, red and white are used.
The facial makeups date a long time back to the Song and Yuan dynasties at least.Simple patterns of painted faces are found in tomb murals of that age.
During the Ming Dynasty improvements were made in the skills of drawing and in preparing the paints, leading to the whole set of colorful facial patterns that we see in today's beijing Opera.
Slanting, Twisted or Asymmetric Face