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St. Paul's L'Amoreaux Centre

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Sichuan Face Changing Performance Chinese Bian Lian Sichuan Opera

A rare performance of the Art of Face Changing or Bian Lian, one of the oldest forms of Chinese Sichuan Opera. The art form was introduced 300 years ago with powder and paste methods. The artist changes his facial appearance at lighning speed as if by magic. The colours of the masks show a character's emotions such as fear, slyness, anger, tension, etc. Brightly coloured costumes are worn by performers who move to dramatic music to tell their story. Watch very carefully and be amazed.

Only about 200 artists in China know the secret as it's passed on to only males within theatrical families. This was a spell binding performance by a true master held during the Chinese New Year Celebrations at the Scarborough Town Center.