Chinese culture is a great and extensive civilization with featured Chinese traditional opera, especially the Peking Opera, which is regarded as the national opera or the quintessence of Chinese culture. With incomparable artistic charm, Chinese opera delights people home and abroad and enjoys a particular important statue in the world, known as Three Ancient Dramas together with Ancient Greek drama and Indian Sanskritdrama.
Chinese opera was born from the ancient songs and dances, and finally completed as a mature art form after a long historical development in Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911). It is a comprehensive stagecraft combining folk songs and dances, dialogue and burlesque, including art fields of literature, music, dance, fine art, acrobatics, martial art and performing art. According to a rough estimation, about 360 operas exist in China. With a center criterion, each in different areas has developed to a style of its own with distinctive local features. Famous operas include Peking Opera, Shaoxing Opera, Huangmei Opera, Kunqu Opera, Yuju (Henan) Opera, Cantonese Opera, Shanghai Opera, Sichuan Opera, Shanxi Opera, Pingju Opera, Hunan Opera, Huagu (flower drum) Opera, etc.