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Eastern flavor

By Ye Zizhen | China Daily | Updated: 2021-08-04 07:57

Lou Sheng, an award-winning Wuju Opera performer. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"In Wuju performances, the dances and moves tend to deify humans," Lou says.

"For instance, when playing the white serpent, actors move and walk like a snake to make the character more vivid."

One of the most memorable scenes in the Wuju play White Snake is when the character Xu Xian rolls and gets up 13 times, and wraps the actor playing the snake around his waist and body, a thrilling spectacle for the audience.

Molian, or face-touching, and chuilian, face-blowing, are two techniques Wuju actors use in their performances, in which they change the color of their faces, for example, into red to show anger or blow golden powder on their faces.

"Unlike face-changing in Sichuan Opera, where all the faces are drawn and prepared in advance, in Wuju, it totally depends on the skills of actors," Lou says.

Lou was born in 1987 in Wuyi county in Jinhua. In 2000, he enrolled in Lanxiang Art School to learn basic singing, dancing and performing skills that Wuju Opera performers hone with time.

"The most difficult thing at the beginning is persistence because there seems to be little recompense for all the efforts, and all you do is just practice and practice," Lou says.

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