Classical dance show on Tang Dynasty becomes cultural hit

Photo shows an image of the dance show Banquet in Tang Dynasty Palace. (Photo courtesy of Zhengzhou Song and Dance Theater)

A classical dance show recreating scenes from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) has gone viral on Chinese social media platforms after its debut at the Spring Festival gala in central China’s Henan province, winning widespread acclaim from internet users.

Titled “Banquet in Tang Dynasty Palace,” the show depicts an amusing scene at a banquet in which a group of female dancers play together before their performance.

The show is inspired by dancing figurines on display at Henan Museum in Zhengzhou, capital of the province, said Chen Lin, director of the show.

Feng Shuangbai, chairman of the China Dancers Association, attributed the show’s success to the dancers’ outstanding performances and the emotions they managed to evoke. It also prompted the audience to share these feelings and inspired them to learn more about the cultural elements featured in the program.

Yi Xingyan (front), lead actress of Zhengzhou Song and Dance Theater, rehearses at the theater in Zhengzhou, central China’s Henan province. (Photo/Xinhua)

Getting ready for the show is no easy task for the 14 dancers from the Zhengzhou Song and Dance Theater.

Before performing, they spend about three hours on make-up and preparation and don costumes and headwear that weigh up to 15 kilograms, according to Yi Xingyan, one of the dancers.

Yi explained that they must put on cotton-padded costumes to recreate the plump appearance of the female dancers of the Tang Dynasty.

However, they enjoyed the process. “Like the girls living during the Tang Dynasty more than 1,000 years ago, we are also dancers and have an emotional resonance with them,” Yi said.

Digital technology was used to produce a combination of virtual scenes with the real stage, along with the intricate dance moves of the actresses and displays of cultural relics.

Henan boasts abundant historical and cultural resources, which lay a solid foundation for the province to promote its cultural projects, said Jiang Ling, a senior official in the province, adding that Henan will continue to develop innovative ways to introduce more and more high-quality cultural products. 

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