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Bamboo Dance to the End of the Earth
2008-04-21 10:50:30     CRIENGLISH.com

Li people are performing bamboo dance at the "Luhuitou (Deer Turning-Head)" park in Sanya on April 19, 2008. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com / By Shen Siling]

CRI Reporter, Shen Siling

The Li ethnic minority lives mainly in south China's Hainan Province. According to historical records, they have been living on Hainan Island for over three thousand years.

The Li people, like many other ethnic minorities, are good at singing and dancing. Their dances originated mainly from their work in the field and worshiping ancestors. Among these, the bamboo dance is probably the most attractive.

The bamboo dance is a team activity that can be regarded both as a sport and as a dance. People of the Li ethnic group get together dressed in folk costumes to dance on festive occasions, such as 'Sanyuesan (on March 3rd)'. This is also a wonderful time to express love between the young men and young women.

Dancers include bamboo pole holders and jumpers. With music, bamboo pole holders move these poles rhythmically in different directions to test the flexibility and nimbleness of the jumpers. Jumpers hop between the poles to avoid being touched by the poles while singing and imitating the actions of sieving grain, sharpening knives, leaping and worshiping. Those who fail to keep up with the rhythm are snapped between the poles and would be politely expelled from the dance. The dancer who can avoid being touched by the poles until the very last round will be seated on the bamboo poles and lifted up by the bamboo pole holders to show to the onlookers.

This dance is fairly interesting and quite popular with both the Li and other local people.

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