Chinese classical dance 中国古典舞蹈 (七)

Chinese classical dance 中国古典舞蹈

Photo By David Brewster, Star Tribune

From the very beginning of the establishment of the Shanghai Opera House, there was a clear goal of “taking the Bolshoi Theatre as a model”. The world-famous treasure of the Bolshoi Theatre is its classical dance ballet, which is on the top of the world. So, what is our Chinese classic, Chinese classical dance? No one knows. So the existence of classical dance in China has become a question.

In 1975, a painted pottery basin was unearthed in Qinghai. (Note) Originally, a painted pottery basin was unearthed in China, but this basin caused a great sensation, because a group of five people painted on its inner wall was dancing hand in hand. It was determined that this basin was 5000-5800 years ago, which was the legendary Yan and Huang period. It clearly confirms the record in ancient books that people in the Yan and Huang era often “stayed on the ground, sang and danced with their arms”.

Following the vines, I found that China is a country that loves dancing very much. There have been many climaxes of dance prosperity. For example, the concubine Yang, Zhao Feiyan, and the standing performers in the Han and Tang Dynasties, such as the emperor Li Longji and the minister An Lushan, can also end in great dance special dances. Famous for dancing. Emperor Minghuang also ran the earliest dance school in the world. But, where is it now? By the beginning of the twentieth century, the grand occasions of that year had passed away and had long since ceased to exist. As the feudal Zizhu became more and more tightened, the free release of emotions has become a forbidden zone, and this phenomenon has long since no room for existence. In a poor and weak China, the country’s splendid dance culture is on the verge of being lost. Therefore, some people feel pessimistic that Chinese people are thermos bottles and are not good at expressing, so Chinese dance is underdeveloped.

As a result, it was the dramatist Ouyang Yuqian who pointed to the confusion. He said that when Mei Lanfang went abroad to perform, because he was afraid of language communication barriers, he chose some action-based repertoires, such as “The Drunken Concubine”, “The Goddess Spreading Flowers”, and “The Story of Shasha”. When commenting in western newspapers, they all respected Mei as a dancer. He believes that Chinese opera is a collection of Chinese performing arts, including the rich art of Chinese classical dance.

His words awakened the bewildered Chinese dancers, and suddenly set off a climax of learning from traditional drama. Especially our opera house. Because of the division of labor at that time, the local song and dance troupes of various provinces and cities focused on discovering and sorting out folk dances in the region. The task of creating a Chinese classical dance system mainly fell on the China Opera and Dance Theater and our Shanghai Opera and Dance Theater. The “Sword Dance” created by Shu Qiao and won the gold medal in the 7th World Youth Festival Dance Competition can be said to be the first declaration of the official birth of Chinese classical dance. It was the first highland occupied in the great battle of creating Chinese classical dance.

“Sword” has always been an important part of Chinese dance. As early as the Tang Dynasty, there was a famous sentence of Gongsun Auntie dancing sword: “Come like a thunder to receive the anger, and stop like a river and sea.” It is full of the beauty of “round and flowing air”, and its “essence and spirit” best embodies the charm of China. In addition to learning to use opera and dance, Shu Qiao also creatively drew nourishment from martial arts, freeing Chinese classical dance from the long-term dependency of drama, and stepping onto the world stage in an independent form.

Through learning traditional drama dance, the most important gain is to find out the basic rhythm of Chinese classical dance art guided by Chinese philosophy and its aesthetic pursuit, such as the use of breath, balance between Yin and Yang, seeking circle and occupying the middle, and summing up The four-character formula of “twisting, tilting, rounding, and bending” extends the dynamic trajectory of the “circle” of the human body: just like the Taiji diagram, the “end point returns to the starting point”, “no beginning and no end.” It fits into the farming culture’s understanding of the universe “round and round” and “endless”. “Circle” is regressive, centripetal, convergent and implicit, and represents the ultimate aesthetic pursuit of Chinese dance. Once grasped, it is like getting a key. For thousands of years, the dance materials are brilliant and vast. The door of the treasure house opened. After mastering the movement rhythm, the dancing images hidden in the literature, poetry, music, painting, stone carvings, colored sculptures… suddenly came alive and seemed to have gained souls again. The creators of dance art in New China also absorbed the scientific analysis method of ballet, and made a new construction of the aesthetic value of traditional opera dance, forming a unique form and style in the world. It gave birth to the Chinese classical dance, which is juxtaposed with the western ballet and can represent the human body culture of the East. They are externalized forms of national traditions and have extremely far-reaching significance.

In this process, a large number of handed down works have been produced. The most famous of these are “Lotus Dance” and “Flying Heaven”, both of which are works by Dai Ailian. (Note) Dai Ailian does not speak Chinese, but loves traditional Chinese culture for life. Her “Lotus Dance” was born out of “Lotus Lantern” in northern Shaanxi, but added the body charm of Chinese classical dance, and used traditional Chinese comparison techniques to poetically symbolize the prosperity of lotus flowers that “out of the mud but not stained” Motherland. The bright image, smooth movements, and concise structure all of a sudden became a boutique. The saying “the big river runs from the north to the south, the lotus lantern” spreads throughout China. It was not only a smash hit in China, but also performed all over the world. When I went abroad , “Lotus Lantern” is the most popular show.

Another work handed down from generation to generation is the duet dance “Flying Heaven”. In 1994, also inspired by Ouyang Yuqian, Dai Ailian successfully separated many of the dancing silk movements in Mei Lanfang’s “The Heavenly Girl Scattering Flowers” and processed them into an independent dance work-the female duet “Flying Heaven”. This is the first dance in contemporary China based on Dunhuang murals, and it has epoch-making significance. And Dai Ailian’s beginning was above the commanding heights of the entire artistic creation-she did not stop at the simulated reproduction of murals, but with smooth, gliding, flying colored silk and dancing postures, expressing a kind of artistic conception that humans wish to soar into the sky. . At that time, Dai Ailian had a group of north and south. In the north were Zi Huajun and Xu Jie of the Central Song and Dance Ensemble, and to the south were me and Zheng Yun of the Shanghai Opera House. From this, I was fortunate enough to meet Teacher Dai and become her direct disciple, benefiting from her teachings and being led by her for life. As a result, he became close friends with the famous Chinese dance artist and later director of the Chinese Dance Research Institute Zi Huajun.

In short, through the establishment of professional dance troupes at all levels, and through competitions again and again, the government has effectively led and promoted the development of the art industry. We, the first generation of professional dancers in New China, were born at the right time, linking the past and the next, and with the spirit of “up to the clear sky and falling in Biquan”, Chinese dance has entered an unprecedented period of prosperity. I am very fortunate to have performed all these landmark works that have created a new generation of Chinese dance. As a participant and practitioner, I have witnessed the whole process of the construction of this great Chinese new music and dance. It also laid a solid foundation for my career in dance.









   通过学习传统戏剧舞蹈,最重要的收获是摸索出了在中国哲学观念指导下的中国古典舞蹈艺术的基本动律以及它的美学追求,比如气息的运用,阴阳平衡,求圆占中,总结出“拧、倾、圆、曲” 四字口诀,并引申出“圆”的人体动态流转轨迹:正如太极图,以“起承转合”的方式,“终点回归起点”,“无始无终”。切合了农耕文化对宇宙“周而复始”,“生生不息”的认识。“圆”是回归的,向心的,收敛含蓄,代表了中国舞的终极美学追求,一旦抓住就像拿到一把把钥匙,数千年来灿若星汉,浩若烟海的舞蹈资料宝库的大门开启了。掌握动律后,那些躲藏在文献、诗歌、音乐、绘画、石刻、彩塑……中的舞蹈形象一下子活了起来,似乎又获得了灵魂。新中国的舞蹈艺术创造者们又吸取芭蕾的科学分析方法,对传统的戏曲舞蹈在审美价值上进行了新的构建,形成了世界上唯我独有的形式和风格。催生了与西方芭蕾并列于世的,能代表东方人体文化的中国古典舞。它们是民族传统的外化形态,具有极其深远的意义。




(注:戴爱莲, 1916年生于西印度群岛的特立尼达,1926年进入当地舞蹈学校学习芭蕾。
1930年赴英国伦敦,先后师从著名舞蹈家安东·道林((Anton  Dolin)、鲁道夫·拉班(Rudolf Laban)等,后来又投奔现代舞大师玛丽·魏格曼(Mary Wigman),在伦敦魏格曼剧团学舞期间因大胆提出现代舞和芭蕾在技巧上应互相借鉴、互为补充见解而被开除。