Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Y5 Chinese Dance Workshop

As part of their topic on Ancient China, our Year 5 pupils enjoyed a session with a Chinese dancer to learn about the fan dance.

The Chinese fan dance plays a few different roles in China. First, it is used to help pass down stories and traditions of Chinese culture. Both tourists and younger Chinese generations learn classic tales and lore of China's past through the fan dance. This is why you can often see fan dancers at festivals, theater performances, and other exhibition-style events where the performers are able to promote their rich roots in history.
Miss Chau - Year 5 teacher

In addition, fan dancing also serves as entertainment. Fans are used as props, complimenting brightly-colored costumes for an eye-catching spectacle of movement. Chinese fan dancing also serves as exercise, as well as an exercise in discipline for its participants.

Like many other forms of dance, the choreography that comes along with fan dancing requires physical fitness and the ability to memorize routines. Being responsible enough to attend regular rehearsals and performances is another form of personal discipline.

The origins of the fan dance are rooted in the Han Dynasty, which dates to around 200 AD. The Han Dynasty was the first to value and preserve the arts, which is probably why fan dancing endures today.

The routines were easy at first, but then the teacher kept adding more steps! It was hard to memorise them all, but I really enjoyed it!
Suada Cacaj

I didn't expect the dancing to be so tiring. I kept thinking that we were going to get a rest, but the teacher said we had to keep going if we wanted to learn all the moves. My favourite was 'The Peacock'!
Kaine Painter

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