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The Cultural Heritage of Chaoshan Yingge Dance

release time:2024-02-24Author source:SlkorBrowse:1160

About Author:

Name: Lai Xiaoxia

Position: SLKOR Foreign Trade Sales Representative

Hometown: Jieyang, Guangdong, China

Future Goals: Make the brand "SLKOR" known worldwide and earn more US dollars!

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Lai Xiaoxia

 

Chinese New Year, the most important traditional festival in China, is celebrated with a variety of activities that have strong regional characteristics. In the north, people eat dumplings and put up Spring Festival couplets, while in the south, Loong and lion dances are popular. Today, we will introduce a traditional activity of Chaoshan area during the Chinese New Year, known as "Yingge Dance".

 

Yingge Dance is a folk dance with strong local characteristics, which not only serves as an art form but also embodies the profound cultural heritage of the Chaoshan area. It integrates drama, dance, and martial arts into one, and with its unique performance style and rich cultural connotations, it has become a shining pearl of the Chaoshan area.

 

Yingge Dance originated in the mid-Ming Dynasty or even earlier, closely related to the geographical environment, historical background, and cultural heritage of the Chaoshan area. Located south of Nanling and facing the South China Sea, the Chaoshan area had limited economic and cultural exchanges with the central plains due to inconvenient transportation in ancient times. However, it also allowed the regions to preserve and develop unique local cultures, and Yingge Dance is a cultural phenomenon unique to the Chaoshan area.

 

The performance style of Yingge Dance is unique. Dancers hold wooden sticks and perform a squatting step with their feet, lifting their legs to leap while matching the drum beats and shouting. They swing the sticks and hit them together while walking and dancing. This dance form combines the routines of Southern Fist, the acting skills of drama, and the rhythm of dance. The content of Yingge Dance mainly comes from the story of Liangshan heroes celebrating the Lantern Festival by causing trouble in Damingfu in Water Margin, re-enacting this historical event in the form of dance.

 

The roles and costumes of Yingge Dance are also unique. The main clown characters include "Big-Headed Baby" and "Snake Dancer," and each character has unique costumes and masks. For example, the costume of "Big-Headed Baby" is colorful, with a large mask on the head, and a cute appearance, while the "Snake Dancer" wears a snake skin costume, holding a snake head prop and imitating the movements of a snake.

 

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Shantou Yingge Dance

 

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Shantou Yingge Dance

 

The performers of Yingge Dance are mostly amateurs from various walks of life, including farmers, workers, students, and teachers. They engage in their regular occupations, but when it's time for a Yingge performance, they dress in costumes, apply makeup, pick up wooden sticks, and become members of the Yingge team. This widespread participation contributes to Yingge Dance having a broad mass base in the Chaoshan region.

 

Yingge Dance is extremely popular in areas such as Puning, Chaoyang, Chaonan, and Chao'an in the Chaoshan region, where many villages have their own Yingge teams. These teams not only perform during festivals and celebrations but also form an integral part of rural culture. Through their performances, they convey the spirit of unity, mutual assistance, and bravery, showcasing the unique cultural charm of the Chaoshan region.

 

In 2006, Chaoyang Yingge was included in the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage list, marking widespread recognition of Chaoshan Yingge by the country and society. Today, Yingge Dance has become a cultural emblem of the Chaoshan region and even the entire nation. Many Yingge teams have ventured beyond Chaoshan to various parts of China and the world, enabling more people to understand and appreciate this unique folk dance.

 

However, with the changing times and societal development, Yingge also faces certain challenges. Issues such as preserving its authenticity while fostering innovative development, attracting more young participants, and bringing Yingge onto urban stages urgently need to be addressed. Therefore, many knowledgeable individuals have begun dedicating efforts to the inheritance and development of Yingge. Through organizing training programs, staging performances, and promoting Yingge culture, they strive to allow this radiant gem to shine even brighter.

 

In conclusion, Chaoshan Yingge is a unique form of folk dance that embodies rich historical and cultural significance as well as local characteristics. By understanding and appreciating Yingge, we can not only experience its unique artistic charm but also gain deeper insight into the cultural traditions and spiritual ethos of the Chaoshan region. It is hoped that in the future, Chaoshan Yingge will receive better inheritance and development, continuing to bring more beauty and inspiration to people.

 

As the Year of the Loong in 2024 arrives, I wish you a year filled with prosperity and happiness. May your career soar, your family be joyful, your health be robust, and your finances flourish! May your life be as powerful and vibrant as a dragon, and may everything go smoothly and all your wishes come true in the new year!

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