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Peking Opera helps 10-year-old girl fight cerebral palsy

2019-02-14 09:40:36 chinadaily.com.cn

The training required for learning Peking Opera would prove difficult for most people, as it combines martial arts, dancing and acrobatics. For ten-year-old Sun Ruihan, who has been living with cerebral palsy since birth, the challenges have been even bigger.

At the age of four, she was sent to a Chinese traditional opera school in her hometown in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, by her parents, who hoped the physical training might help fight her condition.

The demanding work has not only helped her physically, but has also built her confidence and inspired in her perseverance over the past six years.

"With her physical condition, I didn't think she could learn Peking Opera," said Wang Xichen, head of the opera school and a Peking Opera actor.

But the little girl never disappointed her teacher or her parents.

"Some simple actions seem quite difficult for the little girl," said Wang. "She practiced much harder than others however without any complaints."

In May 2017 she won her first golden award in the provincial Peking Opera competition, and has won several other awards in the following years.

"The awards greatly promoted her confidence in life," said her mother. "She just looks like a shining pearl on the stage that I have never seen before."

After several performances in school activities, Sun also became a star among her schoolmates.

Upon Wang's advice, the little girl began to learn playing the jinghu, a two-stringed fiddle performed in Peking Opera, several months ago.

"I hope I can keep performing on the stage of Peking Opera in the future," she said. "I will continue to work hard."

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