Famed Woman Dancer Combines Tradition with Modern Culture

 October 20, 2020
Famed Woman Dancer Combines Tradition with Modern Culture
China's famous dancer Yang Liping (3rd, L) attends a publicity session for her dance show with the production team in North China's Tianjin Municipality 
on October 6. [Xinhua/Zhou Runjian]


The dance "Under Siege," with Yang Liping as its chief choreographer and art director, was staged in North China's Tianjin Municipality over three consecutive nights from October 5 to 7.

At a session organized to discuss the dance show, Yang, a famed Chinese dancer, noted that this work has a strong experimental feel and is a bold production that integrates traditional classic art into a contemporary cultural context.

"I tried to put performance art, installation art and folk music into the comprehensive artistic language of traditional drama to interpret the story of the epic battle between the Chu and Han armies (in 202 BC) that has been circulating for more than 2,000 years," she said.

There are no real swords and spears in the performance, but instead there are countless scissors hanging above the stage and red feathers covering the set.

"Such a stage design is to reflect the uneasiness and fear of people throughout the ages, which is just like what the title 'Under Siege' means," she explained.

Yang is known as the "peacock princess," "dance poet" and "soul dancer," although she has never even spent a day in a dance school.

"Dance is a lifestyle for people of Bai ethnic group. We dance at weddings and funerals and work in the fields. My dancing art derives from the people and the land, and is inspired by heaven and earth," Yang said, adding that she learned a lot from nature, such as how peacocks walk and how the river flows.

Yang insists on dancing out of pure passion and love for dance. "Dancing is not my work, but a necessary means by which I live and communicate with the world," she explained.

In addition to being a dancer, Yang has never stopped collecting, cataloguing, inheriting and spreading folk art. "I love traditional Chinese culture due to its unique style and character. What I am interested in is the way to demonstrate it," she said.

In recent years, Yang has taken a back seat, leaving the stage for younger generation. "I currently prefer creating to performing. Many of my works are designed for suitable dancers. However, I also tailor works for myself. I will appear on the stage as long as there is a good one," Yang said.


(Source: Xinhua/Translated and edited by Women of China)


Please understand that womenofchina.cn,a non-profit, information-communication website, cannot reach every writer before using articles and images. For copyright issues, please contact us by emailing: website@womenofchina.cn. The articles published and opinions expressed on this website represent the opinions of writers and are not necessarily shared by womenofchina.cn.