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This article is about Kyoshi's team. For the Team Avatar in Avatar: The Last Airbender, see Team Avatar. For Team Avatar in The Legend of Korra, see Team Avatar (Korra). For Kuruk's team, see Kuruk's team.

The Flying Opera Company was a daofei outlaw gang that became the sworn companions of Avatar Kyoshi in 296 BG and served as her "Team Avatar" from then on.[3][4]

Founded by Jesa and Hark in the late 4th century BG, the Flying Opera Company originally operated as a crime network around the Earth Kingdom, disguising themselves as a theater troupe to mask their travels.[5] It grew into a powerful company that had sway over local governors but gradually declined in the early 3rd century BG. By 296 BG, their influence was reduced to only minimal control over Chameleon Bay, and just four members remained: Lao Ge, Kirima, Wong, and Lek. In that year, the Flying Opera Company came into contact with Kyoshi, the daughter of their former bosses.[2] Though initially oblivious to her true identity as the Avatar, the outlaws took Kyoshi and her friend Rangi in, taught them the ways of the daofei, and involved them in their schemes.[2][6]

Over time, a close bond formed between Kyoshi and the rest of the group, resulting in her revealing her status as Avatar. The group stayed true to their vows of brotherhood and friendship and consequently served as her teachers and protectors.[7] Together, the Flying Opera Company put an end to Kyoshi's nemesis, Jianzhu, though they lost Lek in the process.[8][9]

History

The Flying Opera Company was founded by Jesa, a renegade Air Nomad nun, and her lover Hark, an earthbending thief and actor. Lao Ge was an original member of the daofei group. At its peak, the group had secret bases in Ba Sing Se, Omashu, and Gaoling, and was capable of blackmailing high-ranking officials.[2]

After Jesa and Hark died of a fever, their group fell on hard times after her flying bison, Longyan, abandoned the company. They ended up in debt to more unscrupulous figures in Chameleon Bay and, to protect themselves, they chose to be affiliated with the Autumn Bloom Society of Hujiang as their elders.[6]

In 296 BG, Kyoshi and Rangi became affiliated with the company shortly before Governor Deng's men ransacked Madam Qiji's teahouse. The group left on Pengpeng for the safety of the secluded daofei hub of Hujiang in the Taihua Mountains.[6][10]

Even though the Flying Opera Company's members parted ways after the death of Jianzhu, they pledged to reunite in the future. In addition, Kyoshi continued to abide by the group's laws and regarded herself sworn to the Flying Opera Company.[11][12] Most notably, she maintained her oath to not accept a legitimate job and not to work for the law, although she would occasionally use corrupt lawmen to achieve her goals.[12]

One year later, the surviving members of the Flying Opera Company, save for Lao Ge, were contacted by Jinpa and paid a considerable amount of gold so that they could face Yun in Yokoya during Kyoshi's final confrontation with the false Avatar. Though Kirima, Wong, and Rangi were badly injured, Kyoshi treated her sworn brothers and sisters in the Avatar mansion's infirmary after she managed to kill Yun. The group also began to bond with Jinpa, Kyoshi's secretary.[13]

After the defeat of Yun by Kyoshi, the Flying Opera Company became more visible to the public eye due to their connection to the Avatar, and finding jobs became more challenging. Some daofei were hesitant to work with the company, while others were a little too eager because they wanted something from the Avatar herself.[14] One of these daofei groups, the Three Lanterns Social Club, expressed their wish to join forces with the Flying Opera Company in order to help the Avatar, but the team quickly grew suspicious. Kirima tasked a group of people with infiltrating the daofei group, asking them to identify their real leader and motives.[15]

Attire

True to their cover as a traveling acting troupe,[5] one of the most distinctive qualities of the Flying Opera Company was their use of oil-based makeup to disguise themselves, both to provide authenticity to their theatrical performances and to ensure their identities stayed hidden during their criminal activities. Instead of using a variety of colors for their disguises, members of the Flying Opera Company exclusively used white, red, and black pigments, and assigned specific symbolic meanings to the hues. The eggshell-colored white that dominated most of the face represented the treacherous and sinister acts those who wore the paint were willing to inflict upon other people; in turn, the deep crimson red highlights signified the camaraderie and honor only shared between the members of the Flying Opera Company.[1]

The troupe coveted their stores of makeup, traditionally putting on their "faces" before every mission.[1] Even when quality materials, such as the ones produced in Ba Sing Se, were not available,[1] the members of the Flying Opera Company adapted based on the situation; in one instance, during their battle with Yun, Kyoshi and Rangi used their own blood to apply their markings, their faces having already been covered in white dust from the earth discs Yun shattered against them.[13]

Besides its functional purpose, the makeup also served to affect the morale of the company's members. While administering Kyoshi's makeup, Wong told her that wearing the paints always made him feel braver during dangerous jobs. Upon seeing herself fully decorated in a mirror, Kyoshi believed that the reflection she saw was one worthy of eventually being a powerful, fearless Avatar, and was gratified when Rangi and Lek informed her that she looked both beautiful and terrifying.[1] In situations where she was without her makeup, Kyoshi would find herself regretting how her unobscured facial expressions and reactions were on full display.[16] In turn, the makeup could also demoralize enemies the company members faced; one daofei was rendered terrified after seeing a bleeding Kyoshi, resplendent in her makeup and armor, believing her to be a monstrous spirit.[12]

There are at least two known examples of the facial patterns used by the Flying Opera Company. During Wong's and her own subsequent applications, Kyoshi had streaks painted along her eyes and brow with the red pigment and black kohl, respectively. The red paint began near the ridges of her nose, continuing along at the corners of her eyelids, before turning upward and ending at the tops of her temples, with the black paint lining and bordering the red along her brow. In her sporadic usages of the makeup, Rangi's application involved drawing a bar from her red-painted lips down to the bottom of her chin, her design partially resembling the markings of the Painted Lady, a river spirit native to the firebender's homeland.[13]

Members

† indicates deceased during the novels.

Core members

Animal members

Allies

Fire Nation

Earth Kingdom

  • Dr. Song

Water Tribe

Air Nomads

Enemies

† indicates deceased during the novels.

Earth Kingdom

Trivia

  • In order to identify oneself as daofei, the password to be said in Madam Qiji's teahouse was to order "jasmine picked in fall, scented at noon, and steeped at a boil", which would get a specific reply: "We have every color blossom known to man and spirit."[2]
  • The Flying Opera Company was inspired by "old-school Hong Kong martial arts movies or wuxia movies where you have bandits living outside the law. Some of them are heroic, some of them are not". As criminals, the group's initial members acted as foils to Kyoshi, who was a strong believer of justice.[4]
  • The makeup worn by the Flying Opera Company and the symbolism of its colors is identical to those worn in traditional Chinese opera, which is consistent with their adopting it through Hark's theater lineage. The group's martial and acrobatic skills were influenced by the Beijing Royal Opera.[4]
  • In comparison to Aang and Korra's Team Avatars, every member of the Flying Opera Company during Kyoshi's time with the group was a bender.
    • Kirima also noted that such a fact made the company unique among other daofei societies.[6]
  • Upon swearing herself to the Flying Opera Company, Kyoshi was the first known Avatar in history to have become a professional criminal.[7]

Notes

  1. Though Rangi did not formally join the Flying Opera Company as a daofei, she unwaveringly participated in criminal activities like lei tais and raids,[6][17] wore the group's signature makeup,[18] and pridefully referred to her friends in the company as her sworn brothers and sisters.[16]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty-Four, "The Face of Tradition". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Fourteen, "The Introduction". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  3. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Foreword. The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Palmer Haasch (July 24, 2019). The Rise of Kyoshi author F.C. Yee on penning a new entry in the Avatar canon. Polygon. Retrieved on September 22, 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Sixteen, "The Agreement". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Eighteen, "The Town". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty, "The Avatar's Masters". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  8. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Thirty, "Farewells". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  9. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Thirty-One, "The Return". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  10. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Fifteen, "Escape". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  11. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Thirty-Two, "Hauntings". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter One, "Unfinished Business". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Twenty-Six, "Home Again". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  14. Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Core Book, Version 1.0, 2022, p. 36.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game. Core Book, Version 1.0, 2022, p. 264.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Six, "The Performance". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  17. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty-Three, "Questions and Meditations". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  18. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Twenty-Five, "The Raid". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  19. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 21, 2020). Chapter Three, "Past Lives". The Shadow of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
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