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This content is taken from the The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts's online course, Cantonese Opera: from Backstage to the Stage. Join the course to learn more.

One minute on stage, ten years of practice


The basic skills of Cantonese Opera are crucial to its performance and to the longevity of this art form. Before we move to the next step, please share your experience in performance-related rehearsals with fellow learners! It can be your experience of public speaking, dancing, singing, acting or other types of performances.

1)Please share with us your relevant experience in the comments of this step. Here are some suggestions:

  • Type of performance
  • Location
  • What did you learn from the experience?
  • How long have you been learning the subject for?
  • How long do you think it will take a novice learner to become a professional?

2)If you don’t have much experience of performance-related rehearsals, you may share with us your understanding about rehearsals in general, or respond to others’ sharing instead.

An optional reference for you:

A good Cantonese opera show requires preparation. Basic skills training is an indispensable part of Cantonese opera. We have shared a video resource of an interview with Mr. Hong Hai. Mr. Hong is an experienced Cantonese opera educator. In the video, Mr. Hong Hai explains the development of the basic skills. It is a good overview of Cantonese opera practices before we move to the following steps. As the link may not be accessible in some regions, it is optional for you to watch it for reference. Please feel free to share these in comments.

Here you are the related links for the videos with: English subtitles and Chinese subtitles

The video covers several key elements, including:

  • wrist and leg skills
  • making a stage pose
  • circling around
  • horsewhip
  • displaying movements in martial arts

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This article is from the free online course:

Cantonese Opera: from Backstage to the Stage

The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts