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July 24, 2014

The Man with Fifteen Faces: Secrets of the Zhejiang Wu Opera

The mysterious art of bian lian or face-changing originated in Sichuan Opera, and has long been a closely guarded secret of Chinese performers. Hu Dongxiao of the Zhejiang Wu Opera Troupe performed the most complex style of face-changing at the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, switching between colored masks that represent different emotions in a dramatic story.

Videography: David Barnes, Shiyu Wang, Abby Sternberg
Editing: Nicholas Mangialardi

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