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History Of Chinese Fan Dance
Transcript of History Of Chinese Fan Dance
by Kezia G. West 1 The Fan
The history of the Chinese fan dates back approximately 2,000 years. It was originally used as shelter from the sun and a shield to blowing sand. Since its beginning, hundreds of types of fans have developed, including folding, feather and silk. China, has historically sold its product to Japan, Europe and the Americas. The fans were, and still are, created using materials such as bamboo, ivory, jade, bird feathers, plant leaves and various others. 2 The Chinese character for "fan" is historically derived from a picture of feathers under a roof. The Chinese fixed fan, pien-mien, means 'to agitate the air'. A particular status and gender would be associated with a specific type of fan. 4 They derived from early dances celebrating the distribution of the food gathered from hunting and fishing; people would dance holding feathered banners. The military dancing was done with weapons, in coordinated group movements. This evolved into the movements used in military exercises. Function
Like most other forms of folk dance, the Chinese fan dance developed as a way to share stories, preserve the culture and to communicate feelings and emotions without words. This form of communication and preservation was vitally important to the Chinese, as dances were created even before written symbols. Chinese fan dances include a specific type of semantics, symbolism, vocabulary and structure so as to allow the dancer to communicate her intentions. Fans
The fans are used to highlight the graceful movements of the dancers and as extensions of very delicate poses. They can be used as a sort of prop, representing a basket of food, a gift or a found treasure. The fans are made of a variety of materials including feathers, paper or bamboo and they reflect the highest level of craftsmanship and artistry. During the Song Dynasty, famous artists were often commissioned to paint fans. The Chinese dancing fan was developed in the 7th century. The Chinese form of the hand fan was a row of feathers mounted in the end of a handle
the Chinese fan dance is performed in celebration of Chinese culture. It represents beauty, grace and delicacy, according to the Chinese Educational Development Project. It also expresses feelings of joy. The dance is composed of consistently changing rhythms paired with consistently changing body positions. Feather fans and silk fans both are part of the traditional Chinese dance that has its roots in the Han Dynasty, circa 206 BC. Costumes
Colorful costumes are typically used to enhance the beauty of the fan dance performance. Today, dancers may be dressed in traditional Chinese garments or in modern lyrical dresses or dance wear. If the dance is intended to tell a specific story, some dancers may be dressed differently from one another but all dancers in a group typically are costumed in the same garments. This dates the fan dance to around 200 AD. It was also during the Han dynasty that the first effort was made to collect and preserve the country's folk dances. Thankfully, this practice became important to following generations and folk dances of old are still shared today. Xie Xie