Show Business: China's Whirling Kaleidoscope

Peking opera somersaults into the Met

There ought to be a word to describe Peking opera, but there isn't, and for a very good reason: it is unique in all the world; no theatrical or musical experience in the West is remotely comparable. It is ballet, gymnastics, circus, mime, silent movie and, to a degree, even opera.

Most of all, it is spectacle—dazzling sights, exotic sounds, strange but engrossing stories. A few members of this troupe gave a sampling of the art in 1978. Now a full company from the Peking Opera Theater is...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!