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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 24, 2008

PHOTO: The left picture is Ghaffar Pourazar, a member of the International Center for Beijing Opera, without makeup and the right picture is Pourazar with a painted Monkey King face.

Beijing Opera performers to visit schools across state Nov. 1-7

Two members of the International Center for Beijing Opera, Ghaffar Pourazar and Morimura Chie, will visit the University of Iowa during a weeklong trip to schools throughout Iowa from Saturday, Nov. 1 to Friday, Nov. 7. The opera is based in Beijing, China.

Pourazar and Chie are both directors and performers with the center. They are leading a tour of Beijing Opera workshops, lectures and demonstrations across the state of Iowa at several universities, colleges and public schools.

"Beijing Opera Demystified with Presentation and Demonstration" will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4 in Gerber Lounge, 304 English-Philosophy Building on the UI campus.

Beijing Opera is a form of traditional Chinese theater, which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics. The presentations and demonstrations will show how each of the different art forms is embodied in Beijing Opera. The two performers will demonstrate male and female roles of Beijing Opera by presenting a detailed account of character types and performance routines, including face painting and costume showing. The workshops will also provide a "hands-on" training including movements and performance techniques.

"The visit of the two Beijing Opera performers will provide the audience in the state of Iowa a good exposure to the traditional Chinese performance that combines many different art forms," said Dongwang Liu, assistant director of the UI Center for Asian and Pacific Studies. "We are excited to be a part of the performers' visit to Iowa and look forward to what they will share with us about the traditions and nuances of Beijing Opera."

The performers' visit includes two additional appearances in Iowa City. They will also give presentations at Iowa City High School at 11:35 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4, and at 12:30 p.m. at Iowa City West High School. All presentations are free and open to the public.

Sponsors for the visit include UI International Programs, the UI Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the UI Opera Studies Forum.

Grinnell College, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa are providing additional support for the duo's visit. Pourazar and Chie will present at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 2 in Sebring-Lewis Hall at Grinnell College and at 2:15 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 3 in the Grinnell College Dance Studio. A presentation and demonstration will take place at Iowa State University at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 5 in 130 Music Hall, ISU Campus. The pair will perform at UNI at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6 in Davis Hall, Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.

UI International Programs enables UI students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the UI Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dongwang Liu, 319-335-1305,; Kelli Andresen, 319-335-2026,