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  • Experiments in Form: Creating Dance in the Early People’s Republic

    Emily Wilcox

    Chapter from the book: Wilcox, E. 2019. Revolutionary Bodies: Chinese Dance and the Socialist Legacy.


    This chapter examines the early choreographic experiments that led to the establishment of Chinese dance as China’s national dance genre during the early years of the People’s Republic of China. It begins with the first national pageant, Long Live the People’s Victory, in 1949. It then examines the 1950 Chinese ballet Peace Dove, co-choreographed by Dai Ailian in Beijing, and the 1950 dance drama Braving Wind and Waves to Liberate Hainan, co-choreographed by Liang Lun in Guangzhou. It shows how controversy over the use of ballet in Peace Dove led to the condemnation of ballet and support for developing Chinese dance. It then shows how Uyghur dancer Qemberxanim and Korean dancer Choe Seung-hui developed new teaching programs to train Chinese dancers. Qemberxanim led the first dance program for ethnic minorities at the Northwest Art Academy in Xi’an. Choe developed the genre of Chinese classical dance from xiqu, or Chinese opera, at the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing. These innovations led to the founding of the Beijing Dance School in 1954 and the establishment of the first national curriculum for Chinese dance education.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Wilcox, E. 2019. Experiments in Form: Creating Dance in the Early People’s Republic. In: Wilcox, E, Revolutionary Bodies. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.58.c

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Published on Jan. 1, 2019


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