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Character Types of Chinese Traditional Operas

Sep. 13, 2018

HSK 3 quiz

Zhōngguó chuántǒng xìqǔ lìshǐ yōujiǔ, yuányuǎnliúcháng,
中国传统戏曲历史悠久,源远流长,
tā shì zhōnghuá mínzú wénhuà yìshù pǐnzhǒng zhī yī.
它是中华民族文化艺术品种之一。
Chinese traditional operas, of a long history and well established, are one of the cultural and artistic forms of the Chinese nation.

Zhèxiē gǔlǎo de jùzhǒng, zhìjīn huóyuè zài Zhōngguó de wǔtái shàng.
这些古老的剧种,至今活跃在中国的舞台上。
These ancient types of drama are still active on China’s stages today.

Jīngjù shì chuántǒng xìqǔ lǐ yǐngxiǎng zuì dà de xìqǔ jùzhǒng,
京剧是传统戏曲里影响最大的戏曲剧种,
Of all the traditional types of drama, Peking Opera is the most influential,

tā xíngchéng yú èr bǎinián qián de běijīng, liúxíng yú quánguó.
它形成于二百年前的北京,流行于全国。
emerging in Peking two hundred years ago and popular throughout the country.

Tā yǒu fēngfù de chuántǒng jùmù wǔ qiān yú gè,
它有丰富的传统剧目五千余个,
nèiróng duō yǐ biǎoxiàn Zhōngguó gǔdài gùshì wéi zhǔ.
内容多以表现中国古代故事为主。
Peking opera has a rich array of more than five thousand traditional items, mostly depicting ancient stories in China.

Jīngguò èr bǎinián lái de fǎzhǎn, jīngjù yǐ xíngchéng le yítào wánzhěng de yìshù tǐxì,
经过二百年来的发展,京剧已形成了一套完整的艺术体系,
chǎnshēngle duō zhǒng liúpài hé biǎoyǎn yìshù dàshī.
产生了多种流派和表演艺术大师。
After more than two hundred years of development, Peking Opera now boasts of many schools and masters of performing art.

Gège liúpài gè jù tèsè, tāmen de biǎoyǎn yìshù shēn shòu guānzhòng de xǐài.
各个流派各具特色,他们的表演艺术深受观众的喜爱。
Each school has its own outstanding features and their performing skills are deeply loved by the audience.

Jīngjù zhōng de biǎoyǎn juésè dàtǐ fēn wéi shēng, dàn, jìng, chǒu sì gè hángdang,
京剧中的表演角色大体分为生、旦、净、丑四个行当,
yǐ chàng, niàn, zuò, dǎ wéi zhǔyào yìshù biǎoxiàn shǒuduàn.
以唱、念、做、打为主要艺术表现手段。
Characters in the opera are roughly divided into four types of role, namely: “Sheng, Dan, Jing, and Chou”.Every type has its telltale facial makeup and decoration.

“Shēng” shì nánxìng zhèngmiàn juésè, “dàn” shì nǚxìng zhèngmiàn juésè,
“生”是男性正面角色, “旦”是女性正面角色,
“jìng” shì xìnggé xiānmíng de nánxìng pèijué, “chǒu” shì yōumò huájī huò fǎnmiàn juésè.
“净”是性格鲜明的男性配角,“丑”是幽默滑稽或反面角色。
“Sheng” is the positive male role, “Dan” is the positive female role, “Jing” is a supporting male role with striking character and “Chou” is the clown.

Měi zhǒng juésè yòu yǒu biǎomíng shēnfèn de liǎnpǔ, bànxiàng děng,
每种角色又有表明身份的脸谱、扮相等,
zhǐyào yǎnyuán yí shàngchǎng, nǐ yíwàng biàn zhī.
只要演员一上场,你一望便知。
Every type has its telltale facial makeup and decoration, as soon as you see him you will know him, with just a glance.

“Shēng” shì nánxìng zhèngmiàn juésè.
“生”是男性正面角色
“Sheng” is the positive male role.

“Shēng” shì nánxìng zhèngmiàn juésè.
“生”是男性正面角色
“Sheng” is the positive male role.

1. 老生 (Lǎoshēng)

HSK 3 quiz

Bànyǎn zhōng lǎonián nánzǐ huò xìnggé chízhòng de qīngnián nánzǐ juésè,
扮演中老年男子或性格持重的青年男子角色,
zài zhuāngbàn shàng dōu dài yǒu húxū, yě jiào “xūshēng.”
在装扮上都戴有胡须,也叫“须生。”
Lao Sheng which is old or middle-aged man or a young man with prudent feature. He is always with beard. Hence the name is “beard character.”

2. 小生 (Xiǎoshēng)

HSK 3 quiz

Bànyǎn fēngliú de qīngnián huò zhōngnián nánxìng juésè.
扮演风流的青年或中年男性角色。
Xiao Sheng is a young or middle-aged male character with casual and elegant bearing.

3. 武生 (Wǔshēng)

HSK 3 quiz

Bànyǎn wǔyì gāoqiáng de qīng zhuàngnián nánxìng juésè,
扮演武艺高强的青壮年男性角色,
fēn wéi zhǎng kào wǔshēng hé duǎndǎ wǔshēng.
分为长靠武生和短打武生。
Wu Sheng martial roles are men’s characters versed in military arts. It contains
brandish long handle weapons martial role and hand-to-hand fight  martial role.

“Dàn” shì nǚxìng zhèngmiàn juésè.
“旦”是女性正面角色。
“Dan” is the positive female role.

1. 青衣 (Qīngyī)

HSK 3 quiz

Tā yě chēng “zhèngdàn,” bànyǎn duānzhuāng wěnzhòng de zhōng qīngnián nǚxìng juésè.
它也称“正旦”,扮演端庄稳重的中青年女性角色。
It is also named Zheng Dan. It is a role of staid young or middle-aged women.

2. 花旦 (Huādàn)

HSK 3 quiz

Bànyǎn xìnggé kāilǎng, kǒuchǐlínglì, dòngzuò sǎtuō de qīngchūn shàonǚ juésè.
扮演性格开朗、口齿伶俐、动作洒脱的青春少女角色。
Hua Dan is the young or middle-aged female characters with active action.

3. 老旦 (lǎodàn)

HSK 3 quiz

Bànyǎn lǎonián nǚxìng juésè, yǐ chànggōng, niànbái, biǎoyǎn wéi zhǔ.
扮演老年女性角色,以唱工、念白、表演为主。
Lao Dan is old female characters stress on singing, but some of them also emphasize on speaking and posture action.

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