The Legend of Female Generals of Ancient China Comes Alive at Lincoln Center

By Shixin Li,

New York City, June 30, 2015, –China National Peking Opera Company performed Female Generals of the Yang Family and other classic arias in the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center, New York, on June 26-28. Over 1,000 fans of Peking Opera packed the theater and enjoyed the brilliant performance by artists from China.
A female general on stage at Rose Theater on the opening night on June 26(photos by Shixin Li,

The story of Female Generals of the Yang Family is well-known to every household. It is from ancient Chinese historical fiction. During the reign of Emperor Renzong (1022-1063) in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the king of Xixia and his army invaded the border, and killed Marshal Yang Zongbao, who was in charge of guarding the frontier. Yang’s grandmother, one hundred-year-old She Taijun, restrained her sadness, and led her daughter-in-law, granddaughter-in-law and great-grandson Yang Wenguang to defeat their enemy and return home gloriously.

The performance is a combination of traditional Chinese vocal, mime, martial arts, acrobatics and dances to the sounds of the traditional Chinese musical instruments. One costume weights up to ten kilos and it takes over two hours to apply the most complex makeup.

The colors of costumes and make-ups are directly related to the character’s social status: red symbolizes courage and loyalty and gold is the color of a nobleman. The operation ending with standing ovation by the audience, and

Legend of Female Generals of Ancient China was brought to NYC by Asian Cultural Center (AAC), an affiliated member of the Asian Culture and Media Group. AAC has offices in New York, New Jersey, Boston and Washington D.C. Since its establishment, the Asian Cultural Center has dedicated itself to presenting and spreading Chinese culture and art, and fostering Sino-American cultural exchange. The center has successfully held performances, exhibitions, academic forums and other events across the United States, highlighting and sharing the beauty of Chinese culture and traditions.

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