Although this video runs for just three minutes, it actually took six months to shoot from the moment Operations Management professor Cui Zhijian and I first talked about it. It wasn’t because I thought it was necessary for Prof. Cui Zhijian to go to Beijing to do it, or that we needed support of other actors or an orchestra…It was because I knew that he was going to need the right make-up artist. As you know, the masks they use in Chinese opera add a great deal of drama and meaning to the proceedings, but finding a make-up artist that could do the job properly was no easy task. He asked among his connections in the Chinese community in Madrid, and I did the same with my Chinese professor and friends, but to no avail.

It was only by chance that I met make-up artist Eli Serrano García, who appears briefly in the video. A colleague of hers came to IE to do the make-up for another video, and when asked if she would be able to do it she replied that she couldn’t but that she knew someone that might. Mission accomplished!!!

On another note, the images of Beijing you’ll see were shot when I went to Beijing this April with IE Dean, Santiago Iñiguez. Unfortunately there was no way Prof. Cui Zhijian could join us. You can’t have it all.

P.S. Prof. Cui Zhijian is a Beijinger who has also lived in Paris and Canada. Ich bin auch ein Beijinger!!! It’s a real pleasure to listen to him talk about operations and the Beijing Opera. By the way, the second opera he sings is Ba Wang Bie Ji, which was turned into the film “Farewell My Concubine”. The film won the Cannes Palme d´Or. Excellent!!!

First published on The Other Side | By Felix Valdivieso

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