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Ancient Chinese Drama and Opera By: Leni Negrin Theater Many people in China enjoy drama and theater. The most famous kind of drama is called Peking Opera. It tells a story with song and dance. Performers wear colorful costumes and makeup. They dance and do amazing jumps. Opera Chinese, or Beijing opera is nothing like Western operas. Chinese opera is a popular form of drama and musical theatre in China with roots going back to the early periods in China. It is a composite performance art that is an amalgamation of various art forms that existed in ancient China and evolved gradually over more than a thousand years, reaching its mature form in the 13th century during the Song Dynasty. What’s in Chinese Opera? Early forms of Chinese drama are simple, but over time they incorporated various art forms, such as music, song, and dance, martial arts, acrobatics, as well as literary art form to become Chinese opera. Art Facts Thousands of life-sized soldiers and horses have been uncovered near the first tomb of the first Emperor.