Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I had the pleasure of performing at the Moon Harvest Festival in Cupertino last month, and the Singtao Newspaper folks even interviewed me regarding my dance as the costume is rather different than what many expect for a "Chinese dance." I explained that this dance originated from the Yi people of the Yunnan province and that I was to portray a girl giddy with anticipation about a tryst with her lover.
I realize that I have much more to learn about all the different cultures of China, and what better way to do it than through learning various dance styles? If it weren't for folk dances, to this day I wouldn't even know about the Uighur, Yi, Dai, and other cultures. There are many I have yet to even discover. Secretly, I'd really like to learn a spirited Mongolian dance where I mime riding a horse and shooting arrows (at targets, not people), etc. That'd be a good challenge!
Thursday, November 1, 2007
This costume made me feel as if it was Chinese New Year, with its bright colors and flashy handkerchiefs. I'd never learned how to use the "pancake" handkerchiefs until this piece, and the wrist-twisting movements are certainly much harder to grasp than they appear. I have a constant issue with keeping my wrists loose while holding onto something (must be from my tennis team days), so it was a particularly challenging learning process. The dance itself is non-stop action, and full of fun. I liked to pretend that I was a giddy 12 year old on New Year's Day when dancing it. Come to think of it, maybe I looked more like a firecracker -- you know, one of the many that are strung together to produce a spectacular series of festive crackling and popping effect? Ha! Let's hope I don't pop off the vine.