Personal Project Process Journal

Personal Project Section #1(June 18th, 2014)

Focused on Global Contexts and how my Personal Project will connect to one of the six Global Contexts. My topic is write an introductory book about Beijing Opera. The global contexts that I am connecting my project to is personal and cultural expression.


Personal Project Section #2 (October 18th, 2014)

After having a conversation with my supervisor I start to work on my research for the personal project. Have no knowledge of Beijing Opera caused many difficulties, therefore, I had to research a large amount of information in various sources, in order to keep everything I found reliable. Fortunately, my supervisor Ms. Chen has a clear understanding in Beijing Opera, she always provide me variety of information based on the opera. I listed a clear and detailed outline in different chapters for my book.

I am going to focus on different roles in Beijing Opera and their singing and makeup technics. I will introduce the history (the development of Beijing Opera), famous actors/actress and performances, music, and important features in general.


Personal Project Section #3 (November 2nd, 2014)

This weekend I got chance to go to the Beijing Opera exhibition,  in Vancouver. The exhibition has a collection of Beijing Opera theatrical  costumes ,shoes, head-pieces and jewelry. This is good opportunity for me learn the difference between the costumes in Beijing opera. I took notes while seeing the exhibition. This exhibition helped me to understand the structure of Beijing Opera more than before.

Personal Project Section #4(November 20th, 2014)

After researching in variety of sources, I have learned they have an extremely detailed classify in the roles (行当) of Beijing Opera. One type of classify is based on the customs and makeup of the roles. The second type of classify is based on the technics of their singing and fighting. The roles are divided into Sheng(生), Dan(旦), Jing(净), Mo(末), and Chou (丑). However, Mo has already be combined into Chou in the past few years, so there are only four general classify nowadays, which are Sheng, Dan, Jing, and Chou. There are more classifies with in the four general roles.


  • Laosheng
  • Xiaosheng
  • Wusheng


  • Zhengdan (Qingyi)
  • Huadan
  • Wudan
  • Laodan


  • Dahualian


  • Wenchou
  • Wuchou
  • Caidan


Prsonal Project Section #5 (December 10th, 2014)

Ms.Chen introduced a new type of Dan to me, which do not have a detail explanation on internet. The new type of Dan is called Huashan(花衫), and was formed in 20th century. It combined the technics and makeup of both Huadan and Qingyi. An actor could not perform Huadan and Qingyi in the same time before the forming of Huashan.

After researching information and talk with my supervisor, I realized it is hard to write a detailed introductory book about Beijing Opera, as it has a long history and has been developed over more than hundreds of years. Considering the groups of readers I am focusing on, it is pointless for me to write an ever end book. The group of readers I am focusing on are teenagers who have no knowledge and willing to learn some basic information about the opera. Therefore, I decided to change my original goal of my personal project from writing a detailed introductory book about Beijing Opera into a brief introductory book, which contains visual and vocabulary explanations.  This is a significant change for my project, as it totally change my original goal.


Personal Project Section #6 (December 30th, 2014)

In the winter break, I watched a series of Beijing Opera performance with my parents. I tried to recognize different roles and the content of singing using what I have learned before. My parents also explain to me the history of  some of the scenes that I had a difficulty of understanding. I also had conversation with my supervisor before winter break. Ms. Chen suggested me to consider write an e-book instead of printed book. As the development of nowadays society, people are prefer to read online book instead of buying book in the stores. Printed book also waste a large number of paper and ink, which is not helping with the environment. Therefore, I changed in format of my book into e-book and made it even shorter.


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