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Cosplay craze

By Xu Haoyu | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-27 08:05

[Photo provided to China Daily]

A friend suggested she try zhaiwu. She did and was hooked immediately.

The ACG-dancing fan became a vlogger, sharing her dance videos on the streaming site Bilibili, starting in 2013.

"Zhaiwu doesn't have clearly defined standards," Pipi-pingping says.

"Dancers can explore lots of genres. The lack of rules is one of the main reasons I like it."

Contestant Mao Yuyang, also from Guangdong, studied Latin dance for six years and is a dance instructor.

He discovered zhaiwu at an anime expo in 2014 in the province.

Mao also believes it doesn't fall into any genre but can fit into all expressive kinds of dance.

"It's inclusive and flexible," Mao says.

"So, it provides room for creativity."

A zhaiwu video titled Gokuraku Jodo, meaning Elysium, that features three Japanese dancers racked up over 3 million views in four months last year. And 12 imitation videos also each exceeded a million views.

Yaorenmao's reproduction of the dance with two other performers has received nearly 14 million hits.

Two moves define the video.

One is the "Ali shuffle", aka the "butterfly float", named after the fighting move of legendary US boxer Muhammad Ali.

The other borrows from the traditional movements of geishas from Japan's Edo Period (1603-1867).

Geishas were trained to walk gracefully to meet and greet guests at teahouses. That was no easy task, considering they wore over 20 kilograms of clothing and heavy geta shoes that were up to 20 centimeters high. Hence, it's said an elegant geisha walked "as slowly as an ox cart".

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