The Chinese folk dances are a part of the Chinese traditional culture and the crystallization of their national wisdom with a long history.
Chinese Folk Dance features prominent characteristics of ethnic cultures, allowing for a well-rounded understanding of Chinese Ethnic folklores, customs and culture. This dance portrays characteristics of different geographical area where different folk dances originate from, is extremely expressive and vivid. All ethnic groups live in different physical environment and have different historical and cultural backgrounds. Such dances make full use of one’s body to express emotion, portraying the everyday lives of the natives. The dance is not limited by geographical boundaries or cultural segregation, it makes use of a common language of art and dance to inspire and to give an insight to the natives’ colours lives.
Chinese folk dance is linked closely with real life and reflects the life struggle, ideology, aesthetic taste and so on of common people directly. One of the most typical examples is skillful use of props, such as fan, handkerchief, long silk, tambourine, colored stick, colored umbrella, colored lantern, which strengthens the art performing ability of dance. On the other hand, the combination of songs and dances promotes the full expression of daily life and easily understanding.
Uyghur Folk Dances
Uyghurs in Xinjiang are known for their skill in singing and dancing on festive days and at gatherings of friends and relatives. Their lively dances demonstrate diligence, bravery, openness and optimism and distinguished by head and wrist movements. Their clever coordination is enhanced by the typical posture of tilted head, thrust chest and erect waist. The dances, Sanam in particular, express the Uygurs’ feelings and character.
During the season in winter, people of Han nationality in villages in northern Shanxi begin doing the yangge dance and waist drum dancing in order to greet Spring Festival (first day of the first lunar month) and Lantern Festival (15th of the first lunar month).
The Miao (also known as Hmong) people of southwestern China developed a lively form of antiphonal, or responsive, singing and competitive dance.
Nearly Tibetans can sing anytime for any event and dance at festivals, weddings, gatherings and during their spare time. From historical writings we can see that more than a thousand years ago folk religious and sorcerers’ dances were very popular in Tibet.
Due to the influence of the their island environment, the aborigines of Taiwan created hand-holding line dances as part of a harvest ritual.
The folk dances of Dai nationality enjoy not only wide popularity but great diversity. Most of them imitate the movements of subtropical creatures. Known as Galuoyong, Fanluoyong or Gananyong, Peacock Dance is the best loved dance of the Dais.
Ballet in China
The development of Modern Chinese dance has taken on a dynamic personality. Usually, young people going into dance study ballet and modern dance first, then they study the technique and syntax of traditional Chinese dance. From there they seek out new directions for Chinese style body expressions and movements with an open mind for experimentation. Since about 1970, the original and unique compositions of young dancers have occasioned a renaissance in Chinese dance.