Chinese Long Sleeve Dance developed in ancient China as a way for royalty, nobles and officials to celebrate grand occasions. Young women, wearing dresses with long, elegant sleeves, would dance to imitate the movement of fairies, and the ripples of water and air.
Chinese Long Sleeve Dance is a combination of Chinese Peking Opera and Classical Chinese Dance. The Chinese Long Sleeve is made of special silk normally 80 inches in length (per sleeve). Chinese Long Sleeve Dancers to need to have inner strength and an exaggerated body action to fling the long sleeves in any direction.
Chinese Long Sleeve Dance can represent many different emotions such as, joy, sorrow, sadness and innocence. These emotions are captured in the extension of the long sleeves. Dancers need to be trained for many years to understand the essence of this ancient dance.
Chinese Long Sleeve Dancers use long silk sleeves to accentuate hand and arm movements, whirling them around like banners or ribbons and snapping them like whips. The opening scene of the film House of Flying Daggers features Zhang Ziyi repelling an attack of stones and trying to assassinate a leader with a knife hidden in her long sleeves while doing such a dance.
Extra-long sleeves are associated with Confucian moral conduct, which promoted covering the entire body from sunlight. The sleeves are used as both extension of the hands or are thrown back to reveal sensitive and beautiful hand movements of the dancer. A.C. Scott wrote in the International Encyclopedia of Dance, "The long white silk cuffs, the ‘water sleeves," are "a functional extension of the ordinary sleeves of an actor's robe, as much as two feet log, and the sweeping pheasant plumes of six to seven feet, worn in pairs and attached to certain headdresses. These are manipulated while being held between the first and middle fingers of each hand."
My Chinese Long Sleeve Dance Workshops offer an amazing chance to learn about this beautiful art form.
Chinese Long Sleeve Dance
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