The art and tradition of the Chinese fan dance have captivated audiences for two thousand years. Just one of many forms of traditional folk dances, fan dances has been preserved to share the stories and beauty of Chinese culture.
Chinese Fan Dance the Chinese fan dance is performed in celebration of Chinese culture. It represents beauty, grace and delicacy, according to the Chinese Educational Development Project. It also expresses feelings of joy. The dance is composed of consistently changing rhythms paired with consistency changing body positions.
Father fans and silk both are part of the traditional Chinese dance that has its roots in the Han Dynasty, circa 206 BC.
While archaeologists have found pottery depicting Chinese folk dances dating from about 4000 to 2000 BC, the fan dance is believed to have begun during the Han dynasty. This dates the fan dance to around 200 AD. It was also during the Han dynasty that the first effort was made to collect and preserve the country’s folk dances.
Thankfully, this practice became important to following generations and folk dances of old are still shared today.
Chinese dance was divided into either civilian or military dance and their movements can vary based upon the classification. Civilian fan dances tend to be more flowing and detailed, celebrating grace and beauty. They derived from early dances celebrating the distribution of the food gathered from hunting and fishing; people would dance holding feathered banners.
The fans are used to highlight the graceful movements of the dancers and as extensions of very delicate poses. They can be used as a sort of prop, representing a basket of food, a gift or a found treasure. The fans are made of a variety of materials including feathers, paper or bamboo and they reflect the highest level of craftsmanship and artistry.
Different kinds of fans
Colorful costumes are typically used to enhance the beauty of the fan dance performance. Today, dancers may be dressed in traditional Chinese garments or in modern lyrical dresses or dance wear. If the dance is intended to tell a specific story, some dancers may be dressed differently from one another but all dancers in a group typically are costumed in the same garments.
The Chinese Fan Dance Costume: