Documentaries in English


Pekling opera

The hasty wrap up to this handsome documentary. There is some CCTV filler at the end of the video, actually I sort of liked those extras as well. I’m the kind of person who enjoys previews when I go to the movies.

Here’s looking forward to Part 9! I’m willing to wait.

Click here to download the video

Peking Opera

This episode is titled “Life on Tour”.

Click here to download video

Peking Opera

This episode is called “Women on Stage”.

Highlight for me was the segment on stilt walking.

Click here to download the video


Peking Opera

Click here to download the video from our mirror



Peking Opera Part 4

Click  here to download the video

This episode focuses on Mei Lanfang and Cheng Yanqiu.


Peking Opera documentary Part 3

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Warning! This episode a bit harder to take than previous episodes.

Peking Opera Part 2

In English!

Click here to download the video of Part 2

Peking Opera Part 1


Géza alerted me this week to the fact that this impressive looking CCTV documentary had been translated into English.

The wonder and love shows in every scene. Needless to say, if you are new to Peking Opera, this is a splendid place to start.

The complete series is presented here:

Or click here to download the video for Part 1 from our mirror

(45 minutes, 170 MB)


stone chimes


Today a splendid CCTV New Frontiers documentary on the history of Chinese musical instruments, in English.  Very informative and simple to understand, I learned the difference between a pipa and a ruanxian, which I have both seen played in Beijing Opera concerts!

This video is freely available from here, but although intended for western audiences, from where I am in North America it is impossible to watch one of these videos from beginning to end from the web page without serious clipping (i.e. bandwidth limitations).

Nor can the video be downloaded easily, nor once downloaded can it be assembled easily! I had the same technical issues with this one as with two parts from the Kunqu opera series I posted last week.

I am including all three parts in multiple five minute segments in one zip file. It’s a minor annoyance to have more files, but you will see that it is well worth the inconvenience!

The video comes in three parts, each roughly a half hour long. The beginning of Part 2 and Part 3 re-run about 5 minutes from the previous part right at the beginning, please note this is not a mistake on my part, but rather a desire by Chinese editors to format the videos to fit a time slot.

Click here to download a zip file containing all the video files (262 MB, videos are .mp4 format)


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