Brief Introduction
Sub Units
Culture Bureaus
Zhejiang Culture & Art
Culture Themes
    According to History of Jinhua County written during the reign of Guangxu Emperor, in 857 (in Tang Dynasty), Falong Temple was established in Jin Cheng Si Cun (Golden City Temple Village), which was located in the suburb of Jinhua Town. Under the baldachin of stone pillar were four flying Apsaras playing flute, Sheng (a reed pipe wind instrument), Xiao (a vertical bamboo flute) and pipa respectively. The style and shape of the four with the delicate carvings and flowing lines were similar with those flying apsaras in the frescoes of the Dunhuang Caves especially in that they both had strong flavors of Tang Dynasty court. In the Five Dynasties and Ten States Period after Tang Dynasty, Zhejiang belonged to Wuyue State. The king of Wuyue attached great importance to sea embankments and irrigation projects. People were encouraged to open up wasteland and began to cultivate the area in peace and contentment. With great efforts put to the construction of the capital Hangzhou, the city flourished. In 978, Qian Hongchu came over and pledged allegiance to Northern Song, so that Zhejiang was free from war for successive 70 years. Then Southern Song kingdom moved to south of the River and appointed Hangzhou Lin'an District and the royal abode. Since then Lin'an had been even more thriving and become the political, economic as well as the cultural center of Southern Song Dynasty. Swarming with business people, it was the biggest city in the country and one of the most bustling cities in the world. In order to meet the needs of the increasingly prosperous economic and cultural communication, the artistic activities were active and frequent. Wa She were established all around the city and musicians were called in. "They became the places of entertainment for soldiers in their spare time."(Meng Liang Lu - Wa She by Wu Zimu of Song Dynasty) Of course, since its birth, the guests of Wa She were more than the soldiers. Fops of the rich and common people alike all lingered in the place for fun. Wa She was so named because it was a place for people to assemble (wa he) or disorganize (wa jie) easily. It was encircled by handrails (lan gan), hence another name Gou Lan. For a time, the total number of Wa She in and outside Lin'an amounted to 23. They were extremely busy as dances and opera were shown on stage often all night through. Boisterous people crowded the shores and the boats and the bustling scene was even more unparalleled on the Lantern Festival. "The dancing team started off from the Midwinter Day", "in the evening of the Lantern Festival (the 15th of the first month in Chinese Lunar Calendar), there were dozens of different dancing teams, such as Qing Yin, E Yun, Diao Dao, Bao Lao, Hu Nv, Liu Gun, Qiao San Jiao, Qiao Ying Jiu, Qiao Qin Shi, Jiao Chui Jia Er, Shi Nv, Chu Ge, Zhu Guo Chao, Zhu Ma Er, Cun Tian Le, Shen Gui, Shi Zhai Lang Ge She, Qiao Zhai juan, Han Long Chuan, Ti Deng Bao Lao, Chi Xiang She, Guan Xiang Kou and 24 puppets of Su Jia Xiang." "People were still reluctant to leave the next day morning" "It was not until late into the night of the 16th did the dancing teams dispersed." (Meng Liang Lu Volume 1 - The Lantern Festival). At the climax of the dancing parade, dozens or even hundreds of the teams joined together, stretching long behind. The Past Stories of Wulin by Zhou Mi of Song Dynasty (Volume 2 "Dancing Teams") enumerated more than 70 programs of them and marveled at their variety. The following were a few typical examples: Joy On Farmland imaging the life of the village men with straw capes, Song of the Pestle imaging people pounding the earth or pestling rice, Hacking Bao Lao, Jiao Gun Bao Lao, Bao Lao Kicking the Lanterns performed with funny masks, Rowing on Dryland about the dragon boat competition and rowing in the watery region, Ten Zhai Langs mocking the corrupted society through the character Zhai Lang, Tao Qiao Zhu Ma developed from children's games "bamboo horse riding" and "ta qiao", Liangzhou introduced from Liangzhou of Gansu Province, etc. At the time, the folk artists organized societies of their own. Some performed at Wa Zi all the year round, while some disbanded after the festivals. They often came out on orders, and when Wa Zi was too busy in festivals, they would perform on "Music Canopy" or "Open Stage" outside Wa Zi. Performance in the open was called "Da Ye He" in Chapter 6 of The Past Stories of Wulin. The vase of Long Ren Dui (dragon man tomb) of Southern Song Dynasty unearthed from Li Tan of Wuyi County showed a number of dancers with a huge swirling dragon over their heads, which probably was a reflection of the dancing teams of that time. The famous Ci writer of Southern Song Dynasty Jiang Baishi once gasped in admiration: "There are dancers all around the city, their silk dress covered with beautiful embroidery; They love this precious spring outing night, and wouldn't leave even until the moon is gone."
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