Beijing Arts & Culture
The charms of Beijing stem, first of all, from her authentic oriental cultural aura. Beijing is cloaked in a peculiar age-old cultural tradition that is mature and splendid. At the same time, it has grown into an exciting 21 st Century city offering an u nequalled wealth of entertainment for people to enjoy. In 2008 when Beijing hosts the Olympic Games, Beijing will show the world something so special that everyone will be awestruck by Beijing's latest accomplishments combined with its ancient history.
Whether it be a tranquil tea ceremony or little Chinese children doing acrobatic flips, there is an abundance of cultural activities for one to pursue under Beijing's entertainment scene.
With nearly 200 years of history, Peking Opera is quintessential of traditional Chinese culture. Beijing Opera combines stylized acting, singing, dancing, musical dialogue, and martial arts, with attractive costumes and colourful makeup. Totally enthralling theatergoers, this is a must see when in China.
The singing in Peking Opera is highly variegated with rhythm and pitch. The colourful facial makeup is also fascinating because it is painted on 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.
Many people used to think Beijing Opera is only for older people, but as a matter of fact, it is loved by people of all ages.
Huguang Huiguan Ancient Opera Building
Chinese acrobatics, also with a long history, is a performing art famed for its wonderful skills and marvelous acts. The China Acrobatic Troupe and the Beijing Acrobatic Troupe are both staffed with China's finest acrobats who have won many international awards. This Chinese Acrobats is a popular attraction for both local Chinese and visitors to Beijing.
Puppet Shows in China has a history of 2,000 years. Most of the performances are based on Chinese folk tales.
Wearing beautiful costumes, the puppets seem life-like with their rolling eyes, deft fingers, moving lips and dancing legs such that both children and adults adore the Puppet shows. But in fact, these Puppets are controlled by sticks and strings.
The China Puppet Troupe, a group well known for performing puppet shows, is recognized for their puppet's exaggerated artistic features and delivering vivid and flexible performances.Back to top
Tea is a Chinese traditional drink, like coffee in Western countries. Knowing about tea is an art, very much like tasting wine. Many Chinese people drink tea everyday. Drinking tea can be a sign of respect especially when entertaining friends.
Recently teahouses have seen a big comeback in Beijing. It is now quite fashionable to go to a traditional teahouse to savor and appreciate tea. The atmosphere in teahouses is usually calm and tranquil. Some teahouses offer instrumental Chinese music or Peking Opera performances.
Laoshe Tea House
Tianqiao Theater and Tianqiaole Tea House
Night performance venues such as the Lao She Teahouse, Tianqiao Happy Teahouse, Liyuan Theater, Huguang Guildhall and Beijing Wuyi Diyuan offer a wide repertoire of traditional arts, including Peking Opera, martial arts and other folklore arts. Visitors can watch shows, while eating snacks and drinking tea.
Laoshe Tea House
As the cultural center of China, Beijing plays host to many outstanding Chinese and Western stage performances. These shows are excellent means to enhance mutual understanding and cultural exchange. Performances of different genre from many different countries and regions are staged in Beijing on a regular basis, with most shows beginning at 7:30 pm.
Beijing is loaded with karaoke bars where one can sing Chinese, Korean, Japanese and English songs, with friends in private settings. To find one, just ask a young Chinese student and they will simply point you in the right direction. These karaoke rooms are nicely decorated with a sound system in place, so all you have to do is pick up the microphone. Drinks and snacks are served. They are generally open from 7:00 pm to 2:00 am, though some may close later.Back to top
There are plenty of movie theatres playing Chinese and foreign films. Most of the films have subtitles. The cinemas are much like those in North America. The only difference is you can choose whether you want sweet or salty popcorn.
Dong Huan Cinema
New Oriental Plaza Cinema
Museum of Chinese History
Beijing Museum of Natural History
Beijing Ancient Observatory
Ancient Bells Museum
Beijing Aviation Museum
Peking-Man Exhibition Hall
Chinese Art Gallery