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7th China Peking Opera Festival opens in Tianjin

One part of Chinese culture that often leaves captivating memories for foreign visitors is the country’s treasured art of Peking opera. And now fans of the tradition are flocking to Tianjin for the 7th China Peking Opera Festival. Sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, the national-level festival aims to further popularize the traditional performing art.

For 12 days, 33 performing troupes from around the country will give dozens of performances during the 7th China Peking Opera Festival. Most of the shows are new performances, created over the past few years, a testament that the traditional art form is gaining new life in modern times.

Renowned performing artist Li Shiji, who’s over 80-years old, has witnessed the ups and downs of Peking opera over the past several decades. She says she’s happy to see some new developments in the traditional art at the festival in Tianjin.

“I’m excited as well because a lot of troupes have brought out their new shows,” Li said. “And the standards are very high. There are a lot of quality productions this year. That’s what keeps drawing in audiences.”

The competition portion of the festival has been canceled this year, meaning no awards will be handed out, the first in the event’s history.

Instead a panel session has been added to this year’s event, where scholars and experts are invited to discuss the performances with the actors.

Organizers say the reason the award’s portion was scrapped this year, was to put more focus on the art itself, and less on the aesthetics of the performance.