Brief Introduction
Sub Units
Culture Bureaus
Zhejiang Culture & Art
Culture Themes
  In Southern Song Dynasty, the folk dances not only thrived in Lin'an District, but also all around the country. For example, in Dongyang of Wuzhou, the Lotus Flower dancing teams were prevailing. According to Wild Talk in the East of Qi by Zhou Mi, when giving feasts, people of Southern Song Dynasty always asked singers and dancers to come in to entertain the guests. Among the most famous was Yan Rui of Tiantai, who was known for her extraordinary beauty and her exceptional singing-and-dancing skills.
     The court "team dance" was usually staged together with Bai Xi(hundred operas - variety shows) and Zu-Ju (poetic drama set to music) on the Emperor's birthday or other grand celebration occasions. In the home of the nobilities and scholar-bureaucrats, mini dancing teams were kept. As the collective sing-and-dancing for the ancient courts, "team dance" originated from Tang Dynasty and thrived in Song Dynasty. Most of the team dancers of Southern Song Dynasty came from among the folks. In 1164, the training school for court performers was removed. Ever since then, performers were chosen temporarily for the court and the kinship between team dance and the folk dance became even closer.
     Team dance was interlinked with Zhi Yu, dancing and singing. The gorgeous and sumptuous dance conveyed graceful artistic conception. The team dance of Southern Song Dynasty not only inherited a lot from Yan Yue (Music of Man) of Sui and Tang dynasties, but also was innovative itself. The music they danced to was mainly "Da Qu (grand music)", which set the structure and the form for the dance. Adding lyrics to "Da Qu", the dancers performed out the story through singing and dancing. The procedure of team dance has many affinities with the later Southern Operas, Za-Ju and legendary operas. According to recordings in ancient books like Meng Liang Lu and Past Stories of Wulin, Da Qu singing and dancing on Southern Song Dynasty feasts usually had the following: "Da Sheng Yue", "Zhong He Yue", "Liu Yao" (alias "Lv Yao"), "Bo Mei", "Yi Zhou", "Xi Zhou", "Liang Zhou", etc. In order to meet the needs of the dainty royal court and scholar-bureaucrat class, the court team dance was more delicate and more skill-and-form-oriented than the local flavored folk dance. But due to the civilian background of the dancers and reservation of some folk dance elements, team dance did not break away from folk dance from beginning till the end. For instance, Ya Gu Er Xi Zhou in Gong Ben Za-Ju Duan Shu (court script of Za-Ju) was originally mini-type folk singing and dance. Programs like "Si Guo Chao", "Wu Zhong Kui", "Pu Hu Die", and "Xiao Xiang Sheng" for Yuan Xi dancing teams in Hangzhou contributed directly to Da Qu dance programs "Si Guo Chao", "Zhong Kui Cuan", "Pu Hu Die Cuan" and "Xiang Sheng Cuan". "Liangzhou" and "Liu Yao" which was loved very much by Gaozong Emperor of Song Dynasty was a regular program for both court and folk stage. Mei Shengyu of Song Dynasty wrote in his poem that "Music was resounding and prolonged in the open, red ribbons on drummers' arms flied up and down. 'Liu Yao' was first played and then 'Liangzhou', made the nobles alongside cheerful and overjoyed."
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