Intangible Cultural Heritage Museum-Dixi Opera

Intangible Cultural Heritage Museum

Dixi Opera

by Live in Guizhou

Image Source: Eyesnews

Dixi opera is a folk play popular in Anshun of Guizhou province. Noted for its primitive performance style, it is hailed as a “living fossil of Chinese opera”, and was listed within the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage in 2006.

Dixi is a unique culture deriving from Jun Nuo of early Ming Dynasty. It develops from military Nuo to civilian Nuo, from Nuo show to Nuo opera, and it is the product of two-way choice from Nuo ritual and Nuo opera. With the passage of the time, dixi opera gradually turns into a free gathering entertainment in Tunbu villages.

Generally speaking, one village organizes one or two performance groups. During the Spring Festival, the players perform not on stage but on vacant land near the village, with the size of the playing area determined by the number of masked actors involved in the performance.

The earliest record of Dixi opera is seen in Local Records of Huizhou during the reign of Jia Jing in Ming Dynasty, in which ancient funny comedies, Didi dance, Hu dance and masked opera are performed to welcome Wang Gong in Shezhou, Anhui. Carrying Wang Gong of Dixi opera in Anshui villages can be traced to the same origin of masked opera. Dixi opera, its chief purpose is to carry out military practice, strengthen defense preparations and improve battle efficiency of southward troops. On the other hand, Dixi aims to satisfy cultural and spiritual requirements for the troops and local people. Through the inheritance and development by Tunbu people, Dixi forms a unique opera in the world.