Monkey King and Robin Hood 美猴王闹天宫

posted Sep 28, 2018, 5:58 AM by Louisa H   [ updated Sep 28, 2018, 7:57 AM ]
The Monkey King is perhaps the only animal that appears on the Beijing Opera stage as a lead character.  He possesses supernatural powers and a great sense of humor.  It’s a trickster character originated from Chinese folklore and classic literature, a combination of Robin Hood, Superman, Zorro and Charlie Chaplin in the western culture. While the Beijing Opera version of the Monkey King is not what any Westerner would think of as opera, it is a highly stylized form, lacking scenery and with combat scenes that are closer to dance than to stunt work. The level of acrobatic skill is incredibly high and the action is full of physical comedy.  In this act, the plot itself is simple:  the Monkey King disturbs a banquet in the celestial palace because he was annoyed being looked down upon by the supreme emperor.