BAISHOU DANCE – CHINA

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BAISHOU DANCE, CHINA

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Literally meaning “hand waving” is a 500-year-old form of dancing originating from Asia called Baishou. This “group” dance is said to have been created and developed in China by a minority community known as the “Tujia”. Apparently, this form of dance also includes elements belonging to singing/music and opera. Furthermore, through this dance themes revolving around human reproduction, migration, hunting and fishing etc are expressed. In addition, this dance also involves the use of “ritualistic” gestures.

a. History/origin of the Baishou Dance:

It was first created about 1000 years ago within the Tujia community in China according to a broken stele located in the Temple of Eight Clan Leaders. Apparently, this dance style was developed from an ancient worship ceremony (performed by the Tujia community) to be performed mainly from the third right until the fifteenth day of the first lunar month.

b. Costumes used in the Baishou Dance:

The costume used in this dance style involves the use of a colourful long dress and a rather heavy headgear.

c. Music involved in the Baishou Dance:

The music involved includes singing of a song specifically written for this dance form. In addition, the musical instruments used in this from of dancing mainly include, a drum and a gong.  Furthermore, the music and the song used in this dance change in accordance to the dance movements made by the performers.

d. Training availability, and the technique involved in the Baishou Dance:

In terms of technique, this dance involves the use of extremely “powerful” and “aesthetically” created movements. Furthermore, it also includes movements such as turning, bending of the knees, shaking, and lowering of the body. The performers also wave their hands during a performance. As for training centres/schools, there are none available around the world since this dance style is mainly performed within a minority community in China called “Tujia”.

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