Why settle for one when you can get two for the same ticket price?
My name is Neo. I am a magician and entertainer in Sydney and I am here to talk about one of the ancient and closely guarded magic performances from China. Chinese face changing, also called “Bian Lian” is a mix of opera and magic. Why not enjoy some drama and cultural upgrade along with the spectacular magic rooted in tradition? Among the most popular of Lunar New Year Events, the dramatic storytelling performances entail performers changing their faces on stage.
Chinese Face Changing has been a closely guarded secret for centuries. It used to be passed down only in the family, from one generation to the next. It was rarely practiced outside of China until public acceptance of global experiences gained popularity recently. There are only about a few hundred people worldwide estimated to know the secrets of this art and even fewer who can translate it to awe-inspiring performances to captivate the spectators.
I welcome all the readers to utilize a rare chance to experience this ancient art in action near your home, whether in Sydney or anywhere across Australia. There might be travel restrictions but your multicultural exposure can continue with beautiful, mystifying performances straight out of an ancient civilization.
One story says the practice was popularized because of limited resources when actors had to play multiple roles in an opera. Another says Chinese Face Changing magic was primarily used to depict divine characters.
But once thing we know for sure is that the history of Chinese face-changing magic or Bian Lian can be traced back 300 years to the Sichuan province. Possibly in those days, performers used silk masks to showcase the emotional changes a character would go through. Over time, the backstage change evolved to actors changing their face on stage adding the elements of surprise and magic. Each mask painted with ornate detail has its own personality, traits and emotions and the spectacular lightning-fast performances have continued to awe and baffle fans over centuries.
In a face-changing show, an entertainer changes masks in quick succession with the flash of a fan, or maybe just in front of your eyes. Each exotic mask expresses an emotion which ranges from joy to anger and sorrow, all of which is part of the storytelling experience. The brightly coloured masks are generally inspired by Chinese theatrics and carry significant cultural weight. The colours and designs and the accompanying music, however, allows viewers lacking the cultural connection to comfortably follow along the story being depicted on stage. Keep your eyes peeled and ears perked up.
Just like our emotions change in the blink of an eye from happiness to irritation and back to calmness at the turn of events in our life, the skillful opera performer can swiftly switch through multiple masks in mere seconds.
Don’t fiddle with your phone. Don’t be distracted. Don’t look away. Chatting with your friend sitting next to you can wait too. This is a performance where you-blink-and-you-miss-it is literally true. In the live performances, I invite everyone to keep a close eye on me and my changing faces between waving arms and flailing costumes as I swap one mask for another in quick succession.
If you are searching for a performance that is unique and awe-inspiring, and want the viewers to watch in amazement as an exotically dressed performer changes his disguise multiple times with a turn of a head and flick of his hand, then Chinese Face Changing Magic is the one you should choose. Though it is more popular during Chinese / Lunar New Year and attracts thousands of people from across Asia, the acts can be part of any multicultural event because they rely on non-verbal storytelling cues. The Chinese Face Changing Magic is several centuries old now, but every time I perform, the audience exclaims at how a mask can be changed in front of their very eyes.
Book a free consultation call with me to discuss if this amazing traditional performance can be part of your Asian / multicultural / corporate shows.
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