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Facial Makeups in Operas (Lianpu)
2) It is thought that the facial makeup owes its origin to the mask. Prince Lanling of the Northern Qi Dynasty (179- 507) was a good fighter but, because of his handsome features, aroused no fear in his enemy. So he had a ferocious-looking mask made and began to wear it into battles. Sure enough, he proved much more formidable and therefore ever victorious. His followers composed a song to sing of his successes, which developed into a masked dance, showing him storming into the enemy formation. Subsequently, the mask became painted patterns for stage characters.
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3) It is held that facial makeups were used for traditional operas simply because they were often presented on open air stages to large gatherings of noisy crowds and the characters were made to wear painted facial patterns in order to bring the drama home to the audience.