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YINGGE DANCE – CHINA

YINGGE DANCE, CHINA

Yingge is also referred to as “Egnor” and is an East Asian dance from China. The Yingge folk dance is said to have originated in China mainly during the “Ming” dynasty. Considered to be about 300-years-old this dance is said to be extremely popular in cities such as Puning and Chaoyang located in the Guangdong Province.

Even though there are no ghosts in Puning anymore, the locals still enjoy acting as heroes. It developed from the sacrificial Nuo opera (), which was performed throughout southern China to celebrate the arrival of spring, ward off evil spirits, and invoke good fortune. 

Yingge dances has evolved to use face makeup and only one plot: the exploits of the fabled “108 Heroes” of Liangshan Mountain, best known from the classic novel Outlaws of the Marsh. While ancient Nuo opera featured religious masks, shamans, and scenes from various folk tales, Yingge dances have largely abandoned these elements.

In the past, when there were 20 to 30 characters in the play, entire villages would attend the performances, and young men in good physical shape had to take on the physically demanding roles of the heroes.

Local folk arts are progressively disappearing throughout China as young people leave the villages. Yingge is still performed in Puning during special occasions like the Lunar New Year, and the dancers are typically amateur farmers who have put down their tools.

Furthermore, the Yingge dance form can further be divided into three types i.e. lento, moderate, and allegro.

a. History/origin of Yingge dance:

There is not much information available regarding the origins or with regards to the history/origin of Yingge.

b. Costumes used in the Yingge dance:

The costume used in this dance includes extremely colourful robes, elaborate facial makeup, and headgear.

c. Music involved in the Yingge dance:

The musical instrument mainly used in the Yingge is the tambourine.

d. Training availability and technique involved in the Yingge dance:

In terms of technique, this dance form involves the use of feet movements that are extremely flexible as well as rapid. Since this “folk” dance is mostly performed in China, there are no training facilities or schools anywhere in the world..

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