Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show

Classical Programs: Page 1 2

 

The Melody of Longevity of the Emperor

This is an instrumental ensemble depicting the magnificent scene of the emperor holding court. The playing of various traditional Chinese instruments, especially the drums and the serial bells, help to bring to life the spectacle of hundreds of thousands of officials at various levels paying homage to the emperor, reflecting the affluence and strength of the great Tang Empire.

This was a folk dance originating in the Western Jin Dynasty (265 - 316). It became popular during the Tang Dynasty in which the dancers wore costumes made from white ramie cloth. Each costume has very long sleeves that are waved by the dancers as they make their graceful movements. The white ramie cloth is a soft and smooth fabric invented in the Qin Dynasty (221 - 206 B.C.) and the dance is to demonstrate its fine texture.

Shaanxi Tang-dynasty music show
Tang Dynasty Music & Dance Pictures
Xi''an Shining dance costume
Tang Dynasty Music & Dance Videos

 

White Ramie Cloth Costume Dance

During the twenty or more years since its inauguration, the show has devised a series of items that are an integral part of the program. These are mainly of three forms - instrumental music, songs and dances. The following notes give details of some of the most excellent and representative.
 

Da Nuo Dance

Rainbow Skirt and the Feathered Coat DanceIt is a kind of wizard's dance that is said to have been created by Huangdi, the ancestor of the Chinese nation. Reference to certain records shows that it has a history dating back as far as the Zhou Dynasty over 2,000 years ago. It was first performed for good luck and to dispel evil spirits and plagues. Later, during the Tang Dynasty, it had already become a grand ceremony in Chang'an during the last lunar month. All of the dancers wear masks, dancing to mysterious classical music.
 

Rainbow Skirt and the Feathered Coat Dance

It is known as the most brilliant exponent of the song and the dance of the Tang Dynasty. It is said to be choreographed by Yang Yuhuan, one of the four most beautiful women in ancient China and the favorite concubine of Emperor Xuanzong, the seventh emperor of the Tang Dynasty. Xuanzong was inspired by a dream about a dancing fairy that was wearing a rainbow skirt and a feathered coat, and he composed a melody. Yang Yuhuan then created a dance according to the Emperor's dream and melody. By performing the dance for Xuanzong she won his favor.

Classical Programs: Page 1 2


Further Reading:
The Tang Dynasty Palace

Shaanxi Grand Opera House

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