Because of CICO's unique mission to promote Chinese opera, music, and performing arts, special courses are available for Binghamton University students to learn about topics that include Beijing Opera, Chinese instruments, and Chinese Opera Stage Combat. Available courses vary by semester. On this page, you can find specific information on available courses, as well as general descriptions and pictures from past classes.
This course provides beginning instruction on the Dizi, a transverse bamboo flute employed in many types of Chinese Folk Music as well as in various styles of Chinese Opera and in the modern Chinese Orchestra. Students will work on proper sound production, finger technique, articulation, and learn repertoire appropriate to the instrument. Please note that the Dizi is not really used with Beijing Opera, but with other music styles, particularly Kunqu opera from southern China and Silk and Bamboo music from Shanghai. The course is taught by a guest artist from the National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts (NACTA). There are no prerequisites, and the course is suitable for freshmen; ability to read music is recommended. Also offered as MUS 181F or MUS 282F.
One of the most distinctive aspects of Beijing Opera is its unique make-up style, which disguises actors with astonishing masks painted directly onto their skin. This class teaches the significance of symbolic patterns and colors used and techniques of pigment application. This class is taught by professionals from the National Academy of Chinese Theatre in Beijing, China. There are no prerequisites. The class is 2 credits, also offered as THEA 387B.
This course concentrates on the symbolic fighting style of Beijing Opera, using special swords and spears. It is athletic and gymnastic and is clearly influenced by techniques of martial arts. Despite that, no previous training in any of the above is necessary for enrollment. Traditional weapons are furnished. Taught by professionals from the National Academy of Chinese Theatre in Beijing, China. There are no prerequisites, and the clas is 2 credits. Open to students from any major. Also offered as THEA 387C.
This course provides beginning instruction on various Chinese traditional instruments, including flutes (dizi, dong xiao) and strings (pipa, guzheng, yangqin, erhu) as well as development of ensemble pieces from the Silk and Bamboo repertory of the Jiangnan region of China. The course is taught by a guest artist from the National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts (NACTA). Students work on proper sound production, technique, and ensemble performance. There are no prerequisites, and the course is suitable for freshmen; ability to read music is recommended. Also offered as MUS 188F and 181F.
This is a hands-on class that involves some speech and or song, not a lecture class. Both male and female students will learn the unique attributes and performing techniques of each role category in performance. Characters in Beijing Opera are divided into four categories: Sheng (males), Dan (females), Jing (painted face males), and Chou (clowns). The final project includes a demonstration of each character type with face painting, water sleeve costumes, and folding fans. The course is taught by a guest artist from the National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts (NACTA). There are no prerequisites. Also offered as THEA 387E.
This course teaches basic movement and fighting techniques using the Double Edged Straight Sword (Jian) and Horsetail Whisk. The Jian is one of the four major weapons of Beijing Opera, along with the staff, spear, and saber. The Horsetail Whisk is a unique performing weapon. Its use involves both dynamic and static actions, and flexible, elastic body movements, which will improve general self-defense abilities. The course is taught by a guest artist from the National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts (NACTA). No prerequisites or previous experience necessary. Also offered as THEA 387P.
Last Updated: 4/9/13