IN Guizhou Province, there are five major types of Huadeng Opera — east, west, south, north and central. Performers mainly use handkerchiefs and fans in their dancing and can keep the handkerchief spinning on their fingertips for as long as they want.
According to Pan Weixing, 78, chief director of “Maple Forest Wharf in the Moonlight,” Guizhou Huadeng Opera has a history of more than 600 years. And its origin can be even earlier.
About over 2,300 years ago, Zhuang Qiao, a general of Chu (current Hunan and Hubei) — a state during the Zhou Dynasty, and his army conquered Qian (Guizhou) and Dian (Yunnan), where he brought in the culture of Chu State and the Yangtze River area.
Mixing with local folk culture, a kind of singing and dancing has become the most widespread and popular art form in Guizhou since the Ming Dynasty, which was the prototype of Huadeng Opera.