22

SUNDAY

In the kunqu form of Chinese opera—which dates back more than half a millennium—there are good girls and there are good-time girls. The “virtuous young woman” (good girl) role is called qing yi; the “vivacious young woman” (bad girl) role is called hua dan. It’s that age-old dichotomy: Eve and Lilith, Betty and Veronica, Jackie and Marilyn, Mary and Rhoda, Britney and—well, Britney. Liang Guyin, who studied at the Shanghai Traditional Opera School and has performed worldwide, is an expert at playing the hua dan role. In a performance sponsored by the Wintergreen Kunqu Opera Society, Liang will don the elaborate costumes and makeup of the kunqu tradition and perform scenes from two classic plays that feature ancestor veneration. Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere, and all of us should show up at 2 and 4 p.m. at the Freer Gallery of Art’s Meyer Auditorium, 12th and Independence Avenue SW. Free. (202) 357-2700. (Pamela Murray Winters)

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