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Da Chai Dance (Bamboo Pole Dance) of the Li nationality

Da Chai Dance (Bamboo Pole Dance) of the Li nationality

The Bamboo Pole Dance, a typical dance of the Li nationality, which is called “zhuan sha” and “taisha” in Li language. The dance is from funeral custom of Li nationality in Yazhou (Sanya, Hainan province).

Da Chai Dance (Bamboo Pole Dance) has complete dance tools and steps. The preparation is simple, two bamboo poles, used as “pillow pole” and several small bamboo poles. The ends of both sides are held by a few people facing each other in pairs. They open and close the poles rhythmically as they move on the 'pillows'. With the accompaniment of rhythm, dancers jump and hop between the poles while singing and performing various mimes including knife grinding, sieving grain, capering, genuflecting, among others. The dance is a very good entertainment and a joyous team activity. In 1957, when performed in the national minority theatrical festival held in Beijing, the dance was honored as “The Flower of Five Finger Mountain Art” and world rare calisthenics when displayed in Romania, Yugoslavia, Pakistan and Japan.

Bamboo pole dancing is part of the culture of ethnic Li minority culture in China. The change of the tradition effects bamboo pole dance. At present, only Yacheng town Sanya city keeps tradition. Thus, it is our critical task to protect this folk dance of Li nationality.