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Hai’an dragon dance

(chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2018-08-14

The Chinese dragon dance is a huge treasure of Chinese folk dance arts, which have more than 1,000 branches. The dragon dance is divided into two schools, found in northern and southern regions. They have different styles in stage property, dance array and movements. The southern dragon dance is ingenious and beautiful while the northern one is classical and powerful. The Hai’an dragon dance is a kind of southern dragon dance but it has unique artistic style.

“Arhat dragon” and “black dragon dance” are two representative Hai’an dragon dances.

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[Photo/js.ifeng.com]

“Arhat dragon” is an ancestral dance of a village in ancient Hai’an county with a history of 400 years. 

The Arhat dragon is made from white cloth. When performing the dragon dance, the performers stand on each other's shoulders to shape a four-story "pagoda".

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[Photo/js.ifeng.com]

The dragon for the black dragon dance is small but colorful. It is two meters long and the dragon dancers are mostly women. The dragon can perform ingenious movements.

Through the efforts of the Hai’an cultural center and Hai’an folk artists, the Hai’an dragon dance has enjoyed further development. It won the special gold award at the first Peasant Art Festival in Jiangsu province, and, in 2001, the Jiangsu provincial Department of Culture named Hai’an county as the hometown of folk art dragon dancing in Jiangsu province.