World Arts West
SF Ethnic Dance Festival

FESTIVAL DANCERS

Yang Yang Dance

DANCE ORIGIN: China
GENRE:
Folkloric (Han Ethnic Group)
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER:
Yang Yang Lyon
First Appearance in SF EDF:
2011
Email:
yangyang@benjaminlyon.net

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.

2011 PERFORMANCE

Yang YangTITLE: Wind Blown Butterfly
DANCERS:
Felicia Fan, Erica Fu, Ashley Jiang, Jessica Jiang, Annie Ping, Annie Xu, Kailyn Xu, Joanna Yan, Sarah Zhang

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.

年味儿

红红的年味儿在灯笼上摇,
甜甜的年味儿在年糕上笑,
喧喧的年味儿在锣鼓上敲,

好运道送来了热热闹闹。

The Taste of New Year

The taste of the New Year in swinging
red lanterns,
In the sweet rice cakes that make us
laugh,
The loud banging of the drums,
Lively celebration brings good luck.

The costumes are traditional Han Spring Festival costumes. Red symbolizes luck and happiness. The choreographer is Yang Yang Lyon, 2010.

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