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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Beijing Culture  »  Traditional Drama  »  Beijing Pingju
Beijing Pingju

Pingju (北京评剧), one popular drama in folk, was prevailing in North China. It came into being in the end of Qing Dynasty on the basis of Lianhua Lao, a local drama of Luan county, in Hebei province. Beijing Pingju consists of East group and West group. West group was also named “Beijing Bengbeng” for it always performed around Beijing. it was taken shape in 1900. East group, emerged in 1910, gradually evolved based on Lianhua Lao. It entered into Beijing in 1930. The process of East group Pingju is divided into 5 stages. 

1. Lianhua Lao Stage
After the period of Emperor Jiaqing (1796-1820), local farmers always organized to play performance on holidays or temple fairs, which was the miniature of Lianhua Lao. There were two forms including “single clapper” and “antiphonal singing ” Single clapper refers to only one person took charge of singing and playing bamboo clappers.

Antiphonal singing was performed by two or more person. One person was responsible for striking all of the instruments such as gongs, drums, etc., on the meanwhile, others song and danced on the stage. Around 1881, Lianhua Lao began to move to counties in Tangshan and established troupes to perform because factories and mines appeared sequentially.

2. Disassembly Stage
Under the influence of Northeast Errenzhuan, the speaking and singing in Lianhua Lao was disconnected and the whole story was divided into several sessions. It absorbed Errenzhuan’s singing tune and added instruments such as big string, flute, suona, drum and gongs. It developed towards the traditional Chinese operas at that time.

3.Tangshan Laozi Stage
At the early of 20 century, Tangshan as the economic, politic and cultural center of Hebei province. Beijing opera and Hebei bangzi took important role at that time. In order to survive in Tangshan, Lianhua Lao had to study several operas of Hebei Bangzi. This kind of article interaction promoted the renovation of Lianhua Lao and the nativity of the scenarists. Yongsheng Tea House, established in Xiaoshan Xipo in Tangshan in 1912 by Wang Yongfu and Wang Fengting, was the first theatre of Pingju. It was situated in Tangshan, hence the name Tangshan Laozi.

4. Fengtian Laozi Stage
In 1919, some artists performed in Yingkou, Changchun, Harbin and accepted by Northeastern audiences, which was called Fengtian Laozi. During this period some actresses such as famous Bai Yushaung, Liu Yuxia, Ai Lianjun joined in troupes, which symbolized Pngju stepped into a new stage.

5. Pingju Stage
After the founding of New China, Chinese Pingju Theatre and Shenyang Pingju Theatre were founded sequentially. Beijing, Tianjin, Tanghshan, Shanghai, Changchun as well as Harbin established Pingju groups. Plays and performing arts were innovated greatly. Some notable actresses such as Xiao Bai Yushuang, Xin Fengxia, Li Yilan, Zhao Lirong, Gu Wenyue, etc. influenced late generations greatly.

Add On: Beijing Opera
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