Crowds flock to folk dance shows

Performers from across China put their cultures on display at National Yangko Exhibition

By Qin Feng in Xi'an and Liang Shuang | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-01 07:33
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Performers stage the Hengshan Old-style Waist Drum Dance in a street in Yulin, Shaanxi province, on Feb 13. LI XUJIA/SHAANXI DAILY

For each of their shows, from the Chinese Battle Dance to the Victory Waist Drum Dance, folk artists dressed in glowing costumes using multicolored props such as fans, handkerchiefs, stilts and dragons as they performed at the National Yangko Exhibition to celebrate Chinese New Year in Yulin, Shaanxi province, from Feb 13 to 24.

The exhibition, the first of its kind in China, featured 35 performance teams with nearly 3,000 participants from nine provincial-level regions. It was organized by the city in northern Shaanxi on the Loess Plateau and supported by national and provincial-level cultural and tourism authorities.

Yangko is a collective term describing the art form of folk group singing and dancing in formation across China that was mostly influenced by farmers who would sing and dance as they worked in ancient times.

With exuberant gestures, tight rhythms, and festive music and a celebratory vibe, the performances are often put on during festive occasions such as Spring Festival.

After centuries of development, various types of yangko thrived across the country, characterized by the adoption of local props, musical instruments and folk storytelling.

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