From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Literal meaningTwo-person stage
Literal meaningTwo-person troupe
Traditional Chinese玩意
Simplified Chinese玩意
Literal meaningBeat the thingie
Traditional Chinese玩意
Simplified Chinese玩意
Literal meaningDouble thingie
Literal meaningHop-hop

Errentai, also known as Errenban, Dawanyi'er, Shuangwanyi'er, and Bengbeng,[1] is a genre of Chinese opera performed by two singers. It is popular in Fugu County and Shenmu County in northern Shaanxi, Hequ County in northwestern Shanxi, Kangbao County in northwestern Hebei,[2] and areas near Baotou, Hohhot, and the Ordos Plateau in Inner Mongolia.[3]

In 2006, errentai was listed as a national-level intangible cultural heritage by the government of China.[4]


Errentai traces its history back to the 18th century during the Qing dynasty. It originated in Shanxi and later spread to western Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, and Hebei. The songs are derived from folk songs; as such, different styles are developed in different areas.[4]


Errentai is performed by two singers, one acting in the dan (female) role and another in the chou (male clown) role. Traditionally both roles were portrayed by men,[3] but the dan role is typically portrayed by actresses today. The performers would sing back and forth. Stage props include handkerchiefs, folding fans, rattle sticks and paper or silk stripes.[4]

The musical instruments used include the dizi (transverse flute), sihu (four-stringed fiddle), and yangqin (hammered dulcimer).[3] The wood block (梆子; bangzi) and sikuaiwa (四块瓦, a percussion instrument) are also sometimes used.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ye, Tan (2008). Historical Dictionary of Chinese Theater. The Scarecrow Press. p. 340. ISBN 978-0-8108-5514-4.
  2. ^ "Errentai of Kangbao County". Zhangjiakou Tourism Development Committee. 2015-05-28.
  3. ^ a b c Gibbs, Levi S. (2018). Song King: Connecting People, Places, and Past in Contemporary China. University of Hawaiʻi Press. p. 52. ISBN 9780824869908.
  4. ^ a b c d "Errentai Opera". China Daily. 2015-10-29.