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The Characters of Chinese Opera . Domingo Yang 935203 Ivy Yih 935204. Introduction . The technical term of Characters in Chinese Opera; Hang Dang ( 行當 ) Four major types of Hang Dang ( 行當 ) Sheng ( 生 ) Hang Dang Tan ( 旦 ) Hang Dang Ching ( 淨 ) Hang Dang Chou ( 丑 ) Hang Dang.

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The Characters of Chinese Opera

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The characters of chinese opera l.jpg

The Characters of Chinese Opera

Domingo Yang 935203

Ivy Yih 935204


Introduction l.jpg

Introduction

  • The technical term of Characters in Chinese Opera; Hang Dang (行當)

  • Four major types of Hang Dang (行當)

  • Sheng (生) Hang Dang

  • Tan (旦)Hang Dang

  • Ching (淨) Hang Dang

  • Chou (丑) Hang Dang


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Hang Dang (行當)

  • Hang Dang is a very special system and arrangement of Characters in Chinese opera. According to different personas in the opera, at first, actors and actresses have to found on those personas’ genders, characteristics, status and etc. then emphasize on the different kinds of make up, costume, and performances; therefore, people categorize those different types of personas with the performers into the system of Hang Dang (行 當).


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Four major types of Hang Dang

  • Hang Dang (行當) can be divided into four major types, which are sheng (生), tan(旦), ching(淨) and chou(丑), moreover, we used to have another type of Hang Dang called Mo (末), however, gradually, the Mo (末) becomes a part of the sheng (生); as a result, we only have four types of Hang Dang today. Theoretically, performers of either gender could portray any of these Hang Dang (行當) roles in opera.


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Sheng (生) Hang Dang (行當)

  • The Sheng is basically a pure male role, especially in Peking opera, besides ching(淨) and chou(丑), the rest of the male personas would be all categorized into the Sheng Hang Dang.

  • According to the age, characteristic, appearance and images, we can basically divide Sheng into the types of maturity, youth, and militant or martial art.


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The Sheng of mature, Lao Sheng .

  • The Sheng of mature, Lao Sheng, often performed as an aging man or a middle-age man with beards.


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The Sheng of youth, Hsiao Sheng .

  • Hsiao Sheng is usually a young scholar or a lover

  • Hsiao Sheng often has the kind of handsome make up without any beards.

  • They would use a high-pitch voice to sing but a combination of high-pitch and low-pitch voice for speaking.


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The Sheng of martial art and militant, Wu Sheng .

  • Wu Sheng is about the militant or martial males are skilled in the art of kung fu.

  • They would use loud and masculine voice to sing and speak.


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TanHang Dang

  • Tan is about the pure female roles, like Sheng, for most of the time, Dan is also the main female role in the opera.


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Tan

  • According to their age, characteristic, and appearance, we would have the types of Lao Tan (老旦), Ching I (青衣), Hua Dan (花旦), Hua Shan (花衫), Wu Tan (武旦), Tao Ma Tan(刀馬旦), and Tsai Tan(彩旦), and only the Loa Tan would use low- pitch voice, and the rest of them would use a high-pitch voice for singing and speaking.


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Lao Tan (老旦)

  • Lao Tan is a role of an aging woman, and performers would use the low-pitch voice for representing the aging body condition.


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Ching I (青衣)

  • Ching I is a role of the kind of faithful and moral women, especially a faithful wife, lover, or maiden in distress.


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Hua Tan (花旦)

  • Hua Tan is a role of a very lively energetic young woman, or a young female flirt. Sometimes, a Hua Tan could be in a low social status, but with a comic character.


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Hua Shan (花衫)

  • Hua Shan is a role that created by an opera master Mr.梅 蘭 芳.

  • Hua Shan is a combination of Ching I and Hua Tan.


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Wu Tan (武旦)

  • Wu Tan is a female martial or acrobatic fighter, and most of them are in a young age.


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Tao Ma Tan (刀馬旦)

  • Tao Ma Tan is a female heroic warrior.

  • They would wear the conventional costume of a female military officer; plus, a halberd or a long weapon in hands and sometime riding on a horse.


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Tsai Tan (彩旦)

  • Tsai Tan is a comic female role.

  • They could be hilarious, ridiculous, and bad looking at the same time.

  • Tsai Tan is also in parallel with the clown role of Chou in the opera.


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ChingHang Dang (花臉)

  • Ching(painted face) symbolizes anyone belonging to rough crowd and can be either good or evil.

  • The acting style of ching will focus on loud voice and exaggerated movements.

  • Ching can be subdivided into cheng ching, wu ching and fu ching.


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Cheng Ching 正淨(大花臉)

  • Cheng ching is a primarily painted-face role who emphasizes on singing and also named as “唱功花臉.”

  • Cheng ching usually plays roles of higher social status, sophisticated manner or justice.


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Typical model of Cheng Ching

  • 銅錘花臉—徐延昭


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Fu Ching 副淨 (二花臉)

  • Fu (assistant) ching, emphasizes acting and posturing on stage and called”架子花臉”as well.

  • Fu ching often plays the role of brave and generous personality or masculine manner, like Zhang Fei.


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Wu Ching 武淨(武二花)

  • Wu (martial-art) ching, a fighting and gymnastic role, who also called “摔打花臉”usually plays an assistant role to the main martial-arts player.

  • Wu ching’s acting mainly focuses on fighting instead of singing or speaking.


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The significance of the color on the painted-face

  • Various personality traits are presented by different colors:

  • Red stands for an honest, loyal, righteous, straightforward, and trustworthy character.

  • White stands for cunning, slyness, and tricky.

  • Black for bravery and justice.


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Chou Hang Dang (小花臉)

  • The clown roles, chou, include both male and female characters who play roles from different kinds of social status and also their language is colloquial and easily understood.

  • The clown characters are easy to distinguish by a white "triangle" or “square” painted on the middle of the face.

  • They are also free to make spontaneous remarks, to satirize other characters, or merely to bring out laughter.


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Wen Chou文丑

  • Wen chou who is funny and does not perform much martial-art.

  • Wen chou could be subdivided into several types according to the status, age and characteristics.

  • Wen chou mostly represents the common people and can be either good or evil.


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Subdivided types of Wen Chou

  • 「袍帶丑」refers to someone participates in official career.

  • 「方巾丑」refers to someone is knowledgeable.

  • 「茶衣丑」refers to the common people.

  • 「老丑」refers to someone is elder.

  • 「丑婆子」refers to bad-looking female and also called “彩旦”.


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Wu Chou武丑

  • Wu chou,an acrobatic expert in martial arts, is cleaver and energetic; furthermore, can be either good or evil .

  • Wu chou mostly belongs to “江湖人物”who could be the model of justice and help the weakness or the negative character in the gangsters.

  • Wu chou will use lots of movements whey they are speaking for showing their characteristic as active and full of vitality; therefore, wu chou also named “開口跳”.


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Clips of Master piece:

  • 群英會

  • 長坂坡

  • 西廂記

  • 武家坡

  • 穆柯寨穆天王

  • 大保國

  • 鍘美案

  • 野豬林


Thank you for your attention and now we would like to display some clips of characters for you l.jpg

Thank you for your attention, and now we would like to display some clips of Characters for you.

Enjoy It !

2004 10 20


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