by Sun Jingchen, Luo Xiongyan, Zi Huayun
Tracks of Pioneers


As an independent art form, Chinese dance declined in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Together with singing, reciting and acting, it became an important component of operas. There were even no professional dancers or dancing groups at the beginning of the 20th century.

However, folk dances propagated from ethnic groups were vital as before. Colorful and various, they were as important as "opera dances".

New dances then came out of both opera dances and folk dances. Certainly we see western influences. Also, the May 4th New Culture Movement hastened emergence of new dance forms.

Professional dancers have played an increasingly important role as the Culture progresses. In the long feudal society, however, dancers seldom left their names.

Hundreds of years have passed. Today we have lots of dancers and their contributions, and their stories are recorded for the descendants.

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