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Chinese Folk Dances


Dance is an essential part in every human culture. It is an artistic form of non-verbal communication classified into different types accordingly by their specific purposes. It reflects the identity of a culture and the inner state of mind. Different forms of dance start to exist with the change of time. Each form has their own significance according to the age they belong. Folk dance is a form of dance participated in by everyday people at weddings, parties, rituals etc. Every ethnic group has its own folk dance.

Chinese folk dance has a broad division into five distinct

groups-festivals and seasonal dances, life dances, rituals dances, beliefs dances and work based dances. Festival and seasonal dance is for social entertainment, sociality, choosing spouses etc.Some of the dance form is Guzi Gangge, performed at spring festivals or in some important celebrations. Farmer dance is an agricultural dance, which shows the importance of agriculture and entertaining the farmers. Cap dance, is a festival dance in the occasion of swing festival, bamboo shoot festival and rice seed festival. Stilt is in the form of ballad and shows the charm of daily life with funny form. Walking lion has its unique, vivid expression and with a view of congregating areas of overseas Chinese. Pheonix dance stands for the idea of bringing good luck to ones future.

Popular forms of life dance are the Axi dance to the moon. It is a dance for joy and arouse great favors among the local people. Rattle stick dance is performed in celebrating the first Lunar month, House building, weddings or festivals. Water drum dance is for religious gatherings or festivals celebrations. Peacock dance is at the New Year occasion, it is an expression of good wishes, and a happy life. Cutting firewood dance is popular among the local people and it is also known as ‘Jumping over poles'. Striking bamboo pole dance is performed on weddings, funerals, singing contest and sacrifices.

Ritual dance is performed as a part of traditional ceremony. Attacking an Ox to sacrifice the heavens is a ritual dance.Jinzhaizhai is an old ritual traditional dance for funerals of the Jingpo ethnic group. The dancers are naked with their bodies covered with wild rattans and leaf. Monkey dance is a funeral dance by a wizard .It is of two kinds-one performed by a single male dancer and the other performed by two male dancers.

Dongba dance is a popular form of belief dance with aim to drive the devils away. The dancing movements are calm and stable. The Big drum dance is for family sacrifice, ancestral sacrifice and house building celebrations. Qiangmu is a religious Tibetan Buddhism dance .It is performed with the combination of art form and scripture chanting in perfect union.

Thrush Neatening its nest is a is a popular work based dance in the hope of a good harvest and is performed in the fields during the season of pulling weeds for seedlings.Gutai dance is performed in the season of transplanting seedlings and pulling weeds. Farmers having knowledge of martial arts with witty and funny styles perform the dance.

The Chinese folk dance is an important part in the Chinese cultural traditions. It has a long history based on the events from history. It is a record of their wisdom, diverse forms and rich colors.



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