Popular Nightlife Activities
Provding full information on all kinds of nightlife activities in Beijing.
Chinese acrobatics has a long history and is one of the most popular art forms among Chinese people. It has got a world-wide fame for its wonderful skills and marvelous acts.
Wansheng Theatre is the special place for the performances of Beijing Acrobatic Troupe. The performances of this troupe have gained many national and international prizes, such as Little Diabolo Girls, Morning Exercise, and it puts on performances at 7:15 every night.
Wansheng Theatre is in Xuanwu District. In Chaoyang District, there is another famous theatre, Chaoyang Theatre where you could see acrobatics and other programs of entertainment. It opens at 7:15, too.
Ballet and Opera
Foreign visitors can enjoy ballet and opera in Beijing, such as the operas Madame Butterfly and Carmen. The Central Ballet Troupe of China has put on some classical performances many times, like The Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty. Besides classical ballet show, they also pay attention to new ballet shows of all schools. The Chinese-edition-Nutcracker was put on in December, 2001. They also show the life of Chinese people by the form of ballet. Italian operas could also be enjoyed in Beijing.
Beijing Opera (Jingju)
The quintessence of Chinese culture, Beijing Opera, early known as Peking Opera, is a must see while you are in Beijing , equivalent to seeing an opera in Italy.
Beijing Opera was formed nearly two hundred years ago. It originated from Hui Ju of Anhui Province and later absorbed best parts of Han Xi, Qing Qiang, Kun Qiu and other local operas, and formed in Beijing, which is why it is called Jing Ju by Chinese.
Beijing Opera combines stylized acting of singing, dancing, musical dialogue, martial arts, facial makeup and attractive costumes. Its colorful facial makeup is fascinated for many foreign friends. In fact, the painting on performers' faces is not for its nice appearance, but to represent different characters. Red means loyal and brave, black represents powerful and wise, yellow and white stand for fierce and guile, blue and green show the characters of greenwood heroes, gold and silver indicate mysterious or super-natural.
The roles of Beijing Opera can be roughly divided into four: male role (Sheng), female role (Dan), painted face male (Jing), comedy actor or clown (Chou). Every role has its own facial makeup, decoration and costumes.
Mei Lanfang (1894-1961), perhaps the best known master ever, acted a Dan role. It is he who introduced Beijing Opera to western world. He acquired a global reputation and was regarded the leader of PearGarden (the Chinese opera circle). His masterpieces include Farewell My Concubine (Ba Wang Bie Ji), The Drunken Concubine or Drunken Beauty (Gui Fei Zui Jiu), Scattering Flowers (Tian N¨· San Hua) etc.
Most people used to think Beijing Opera is loved only by older people, but as a matter of fact, people from little kids to older man or women love it very much. In the First National Piao You (Beijing Opera Fans) Competition this year, a four-year-old girl won a gold medal and the oldest gold-medal winner is eighty-four years old.
Modern Chinese Drama (Huaju)
Modern Chinese Drama began in early this century and soon attracted large numbers of fans because of its realistic contents of daily life of common people and its wide range of western works by Shakespeare, Moliere and Chekhov.
Chinese playwrights have created many plays about the changing life before and after the foundation of New China. The most memorable ones are Thunderstorm (Lei Yu), Teahouse (Cha Guan), The Family (Jia) and The Peking Man (Bei Jing Ren) etc. There are still new ones coming continually reflecting the life of China today.
In Beijing the People' ArtTheatre is the most famous one to watch a drama show. Today drama theaters have many difficulties in developing, because more young people become to be fans of pop music and masses of TV programs.
Museums and Exhibition Center
The word "museum" hadn't been introduced to China till late 19th century and the first public museum was opened in 1905 by Zhang Qian (1853-1926), a national bourgeoisie businessman. The person who made people know more about the social value of museums is Cai Yuanpei (1848-1940), a famous educationist. He said various museums could improve the sentiment of common people.
We could say that in modern society the number of museums is one of the criterions of the civilization of a city and especially for an international big city.
Museums in Beijing can be roughly divided into different kinds listing blow(Go to this link to find them): historical and revolutionary museums, art museums, relic museums, national and religious museums, special museums, former residences of celebrities, folk custom museums and scientific and technological museums. In addition, there are many nongovernmental ones collecting and exhibiting personal collections of stamps, chopsticks, antique, books and all sorts of things.
Exhibition is more than showing something; it is usually a way of bringing about prosperous economy. If you are doing business in Beijing then you have many choices when choosing a place to exhibit your products and seeking for copartners.
Puppet show in China dates back to two thousand years ago, and the most of the shows today still based on folk tales and the like. It doesn't matter whether you know Chinese or not; you could enjoy the shows as well by just watching the fighting and dancing.
Puppet shows are attractive both to children and to grownups. Its beautiful consumers, its rolling eyes, deft fingers, moving lips, except its size, a puppet looks like real. But it's not. It has to rely on sticks or strings. There is another kind puppet called glove puppet (Bu Dai Mu'ou), which is like a glove covering on your hand, in the form of a little person or an animal.
Tea is a Chinese traditional drink, like coffee in Western countries. Many Chinese drink tea everyday, those who don't do so will make tea during Spring Festival or when entertaining friends, which is a way to show their respects to others.
A teahouse used to be a place both for drinking tea, watching traditional performances and having snacks and doing business, entertaining friends and for reporters it is even a place of gathering news. So the old-style or Jing-Style teahouses are quite bustling. Lao She Teahouse (Lao She Chaguang) and Tianqiao Happy Teahouse (Tianqiao Le Chayuan) are of this sort. They are a window for visitors to know about Beijing folk customs and folkways.
There is another kind of teahouse in Beijing; we may call them new-style teahouses which are quite tranquil. In these teahouses you will find everything matches each other, best teas, fine tea-pots and nice atmosphere. That is what we call the Tao of Tea (Cha Yi). Chinese, especially southerners pay great attention to tea and everything go with it. Gongfu Cha (a way of making tea), for example is a little fastidious, you may say, about tea sets, teas, water and the most important one: ways of pouring and drinking.
In new-style teahouses besides having good teas and nice snacks you could know more about Chinese culture, especially culture of tea. The best thing is its Chinese traditional atmosphere, making you relax and comfortable.