Time: 19:45 daily
The folk arts performance at Lao She Teahouse in Beijing offers entertainment featuring a mix of traditional acrobatics, classic Peking opera, marvelous face changing show and some highlights of local plays. Visitors will be served by staff clad in traditional long gown as they sip big bowls of tea and nibble on Beijing-style snacks.
Mostly folk art performances or old variety shows have come from the famous Tianqiao areas of Beijing. Tianqiao, also known as Sky Bridge, is a prosperous and boisterous market which enjoys a long history. Back to the reign of Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty, Tianqiao took on its original form and made great headway during the late Qing Dynasty and early Republic of China when all the folk arts and acrobatics made their appearance in it.
The most popular local folk arts in Beijing include Shadow Puppet Play, Dragon Dance, Zhongfan, Jangar, Puppet Shows, Shulaibao, Yangko Dance, One-string Fiddle, Ventriloquism, Tranditional Magics, Two-man Comic Show, Face Changing and Chinese Wrestling.
Zhongfan (literally, Flag Balancing) originated from the imperial performance and evolved into a program in the folk temple fair. Playing and wielding Zhongfan is a traditional acrobatic item in Chinese folk life, “Fan” is a kind of flag, and its size varies. The fan will be on the forehead or on the stretched arm of the performer. A series of breath-taking movements will be performed with the fan which never departs from the performer’s body and the pole never falls onto the ground.
Shadow puppet play, also called “shadow play”, is a drama in which the player holds the human figures that are engraved by the animal hides with colored paintings and reflected on the curtain through the light, singing and dancing controlled by the player with the silk string, gongs and drums music, playing a series of stories.
Dragon Dance, which originated from China, is a traditional Chinese folk activity and folk dance. The “Dragon” is made of grasses, bamboos and cloth. Dragon dance is very popular around China during the Spring Festival and the Festival of Lanterns. Dragon in Chinese culture is a symbol of fortune, nobility, bravery, and especially, power.
Shulaibao, known as “Doggerel”, is a folk art featuring rhythmic storytelling. Originally, it was performed by street entertainers in front of shops for money. In their performances, the entertainers would praise the goods in the shops as treasures for their diversity and exquisiteness. Hence, this performance is named “Shulaibao”, which literally means “counting treasures”.
Add: Lao She Teahouse, 3 Building, Zhengyang Market, Qianmen West St., Xicheng District, Beijing (西城区前门西大街正阳市场3号楼)