Yang Yang Dance
DANCE ORIGIN: China
Yang Yang Dance was formed in 2004 to bring Chinese ethnic dance instruction to the South San Jose area. Yang Yang learned to dance at the Beijing Dance Academy, and received her degree in Chinese dance there. She performed for the Chinese Opera and Ballet Theatre from 2000-2005. Her students, the performers in this dance, are eight to nine years old. Most of them began dancing at age five.
TITLE: Wind Blown Butterfly
Firecrackers announce the start of the spring festival, and the young Han girls pour into the streets to celebrate and play. This dance, Wind Blown Butterfly, is a traditional Han Chinese dance from Shanxi region, showcasing Han fan and umbrella techniques. The dancers flash their fans like butterflies and snap them with a technique called da shan. They twirl umbrellas like flowers in a fresh breeze and show off splits, Chinese kung fu kicks, and fluid backbend bridges and handstands, moves from Chinese Opera’s zuo tumbling.
The dance is set to a traditional spring festival piece of music, “Nian Wei Er—The Taste of New Year.” It features the suo na, a Chinese oboe with a distinctively loud and high-pitched sound which can imitate the singing of birds. Over the years, the instrument and the song have become inseparable: the familiar melody announces it’s officially spring. Spring Festival is celebrated for two weeks around the Chinese New Year. Family members from all over China (and sometimes from other countries) travel to their home towns to celebrate with extended family. Most businesses shut down, and people gather to relax and eat together. Everyone, and especially the children, anticipates a trip into the mountains, where they can climb, picnic, and play.
The Taste of New Year
The costumes are traditional Han Spring Festival costumes. Red symbolizes luck and happiness. The choreographer is Yang Yang Lyon, 2010.