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  • Performing a Socialist Nation: The Golden Age of Chinese Dance

    Emily Wilcox

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


    This chapter looks at the emergence of Chinese dance as a symbol of China and socialist culture on the national and international stage. It first examines Chinese dance in international tours, including a 1960 tour to Latin America and Chinese dance delegations at the arts competitions held at the World Festivals of Youth and Students (WFYS) in Eastern Europe from 1949 to 1962. WFYS were organized by the World Federation of Democratic Youth and were part of Cold War cultural diplomacy. National dance, including folk dance, played an important role in these events, shaping the development of Chinese dance. The chapter then examines the development of full-length narrative Chinese dance, known as national dance drama (minzu wuju), on the basis of xiqu (Chinese opera) forms such as Peking opera and Kunqu. It examines the founding of the China Opera and Dance Drama Theater and its creation of Magic Lotus Lantern in 1957. It then examines the national dance drama boom of the Great Leap Forward era, with a focus on Maoist heroines and intersectionality as themes in Five Red Clouds and Dagger Society, created in 1959 in Guangzhou and Shanghai, respectively.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Wilcox, E. 2019. Performing a Socialist Nation: The Golden Age of Chinese Dance. In: Wilcox, E, Revolutionary Bodies. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.58.d

    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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    Additional Information

    Published on Jan. 1, 2019


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