British 'Monkey King' dedicated to Peking Opera

2019-04-08 10:49:37

A British man has mastered the skills needed to perform Peking Opera, wowing the audience with his vivid performance of the Monkey King.

Ghaffar Pourazar, born in Iran, said he has been a big fan of Bruce Lee since he was a child and is full of curiosity about China. In 1993, he happened to watch Peking Opera performed in London by professionals from Jingju Theatre Company of Beijing.

Ghaffar said he was captivated by the beautiful voices, colourful costumes, superb show and a variety of postures. So in 1994, he arrived in China on his own and became a student of Peking Opera at a Beijing school.

At the age of 32, he had to learn with teenage students every day, starting from the most basic training of the legs and waist. At the time, he was mostly challenged by Nianbai, or stage dialogue.

Four years later, he began to learn to perform the Monkey King, an adaption from the Chinese classic novel Journey to the West. He said he arrived in the studio an hour earlier than other performers and also bought books and CDs to better understand the character.

Ghaffar today is not only fluent in the Beijing dialect but has also built a reputation for Peking Opera. He once won a top international award for performing the Monkey King.

To help more people appreciate the charm of Peking Opera, Ghaffar often teaches the traditional art form in schools in the United States, Britain and other countries. When he found that the language barrier is the biggest obstacle, he started to translate Peking Opera song lyrics.

Ghaffar led a troupe to perform 66 times in a month and a half in the United States. He also led a 48-member team to perform in Malaysia. In the past 10 years, he has performed in more than 400 shows.



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