Xue recalls that she lost around 5 kilograms because her m

outh was sore and bleeding, which made it hard to eat. Nevertheless, she persevered i

n her training, eventually mastering the skill and becoming a frequent stage performer.

“Shuaya is our heritage and our treasure, and I feel it is my duty to play it well and to pass it on to others,” says Xue, who can no

w play with 10 teeth, and whose pingdiao performances have taken her to Europe, the United States and Japan.

At a performance in Aachen, Germany, which is a “sister city” of Nin

gbo, audiences seemed to recoil with fear, “frightened by my teeth”, Xue says.

Most of her performances, however, take place in rural China and, during the recent S

pring Festival holiday, she and her troupe appeared in shows at the cultural activity center of Jiujiang village, Nin

gbo, over three nights, much to the delight of locals, as well as relatives and friends of the actors.

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