Thursday, April 3, 2008

Yang Liping - Moonlight

This is so beautiful. It is the Moonlight dance, by the Bai dancer Yang Liping, who has in the last 20 years become famous and sought after in China. In this dance you cannot even see her face: just the light and the shadow, the movement of the dance, the sound of the music, and the many shapes she makes with her silhouette:

"People limit the definition of dance," Yang Liping tells us. "Dance is everywhere. Sitting here is a gesture and writing is a movement." She is showing the world something about dance and about life that is so easy to forget - and she is working hard to preserve the memory of the culture she knew in the mountains as a young girl.

"When I was very young, my grandmother told me that singing and dancing is one way we live and one way we express ourselves. The bimo talks with the gods and communicates between earth and heaven through dancing. My grandmother herself is a typical example. When my grandfather died, she sang for three days and nights about his life, their love stories and to mourn."

You can read a full article about Yang Liping's dances and about what she hopes to preserve and celebrate at Xinhua Net - which is also my source for the quotations above.

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