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Xianzi Dance

http://www.chinese.cn 13:44, October 27, 2009 chinaculture.org

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Xianzi Dance
Xianzi Dance

The Xianzi Dance, also called Xie or Ye, is danced to the accompaniment of a Tibetan-style two-string instrument. In the hinterland of Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region it is called Kangxie (dances from Kang).

The Xianzi Dance is an excellent example of Tibetan culture and has survived for hundreds of years. It is popular in Tibetan inhabitated regions such as Batang, Chamdo, and Gyangze in Tibet, areas in northwest China's Qinghai Province, and Southwest China's Sichuan Province.

At festivals and on outings in the Linkas (parks) in Batang and Mangkang, men and women dance face to face in two lines. A person, playing a stringed instrument made of ox horn, usually stands at the head of the two lines, directing the dancers. Girls wear long-sleeved silk gowns when dancing. The movements of the Xianzi Dance are gentle and implicit, seemingly expressing a longing for love and nature. Lyrics are in four parts each comprising six words in precise but flowery language.

The dancers dance in a circle or randomly, sometimes resembling a winding dragon. They sing to each other to express their feelings. Along with the trill in their singing, there is a kind of "trill" in their dance, most of which mimes the movements of the peacock.

The graceful movements flow naturally and are characterized by broad, slow steps and the pointing of the feet toward the ground. The dancers wave their sleeves while turning, creating a fascinating scene of flying sleeves.


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