Opportunities to understand China, Chinese culture and Chinatown

A wonderful group of audience spent their evening at China Exchange to learn about Chinese dance with The Hong Kong Dance Company on 12 April. Ahead of the premiere of The Legend of Mulan at South Bank Centre on 15th May, this award-winning dance company brought a fantastic team of artists demonstrated Chinese Classical dance and Chinese folk dance to the audience, which are the main component of the Mulan piece.

Casts from The Legend of Mulan showed the audience a sequence of dances including Long-sleeves dance and ancient court dance from Han-Tang dynasties. Another part of the demonstration introduced us different regional Chinese folk dances such as the Han tribe’s DongBei YangGe – one of the most representative folk dance in the northern part of China;  traditional Yi tribe’s tobacco box dance which dancers used traditional Yi tobacco box as percussion instruments to harmonise their joyful heartbeats. Each ethnic group’s dance tradition has its own rhythm, signature movement and style that reflect that group’s particular religious, cultural and historical narrative.

After enjoying the demonstration, our audience had the chance to join the dancers to learn JiaoZhou YangGe which is from Shandong Province of china, also belongs to Han ethnic group. Same as DongBei YangGe, their dance is related to ancient rite in asking higher power for blessing and good harvest.

Following a good time of audience participation, Mr Yong Yuntao, Artistic Director and Choreographer of The Legend of Mulan shared the creation of Mulan and his interpretation of this Chinese legend. We also had chance to enjoy the excerpt from the main piece “The homesick maiden” (ladies knitting in the loom, thinking of their good old days) to end this lovely evening.

With special thanks to The Hong Kong Dance Company and Project Coordinator Carrol Ho.

The music selected for the concert includes: