From spring to autumn, from the Spring Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Qixi Festival (Double Seventh Festival), to the Mid-Autumn Festival and Chongyang Festival (Double Ninth Festival), festivals connect every lovely day throughout the year. Since this year, Henan TV has launched a series of wonderful tours of traditional Chinese festivals, realizing new expressions of traditional culture through technological innovations, which instantly went viral. China Cultural Center in Stockholm selects and presents the following ten high-quality artistic performances, which combine elegant or powerful dances with rich traditional cultural elements such as martial arts, painting, calligraphy, cultural relics and intangible cultural heritage, giving new vitality to the ancient culture with vivid narration, AR and other special effects technologies.
2021 Henan TV Spring Festival Gala
《Palace Banquet in Tang Dynasty》
Dragon Boat Festival Wonderful Tour
《Rhapsody on the Luo River Goddess》
A breathtaking Chinese traditional dance underwater has wowed internet users with its ingenious recreation of the Goddess of Luo River, a character depicted in a classic prose written around 1,800 years ago by Cao Zhi from the Three Kingdoms period (220-280).
Once a synchronized swimmer, dancer He Haohao handsomely executed the performance with elegance and force, and impressed the audience with her great lung capacity. It took altogether 26 hours to film the dance show, according to the show’s director Guo Jiyong.
肩若削成，腰如约素。With shoulders shaped as if by carving, Waist narrow as though bound with white cords;
延颈秀项，皓质呈露。At her slim throat and curving neck, The pale flesh lies open to view,
芳泽无加，铅华弗御。No scented ointments overlaying it, No coat of leaden powder applied.
云髻峨峨，修眉联娟。Cloud-bank coiffure rising steeply, Long eyebrows delicately arched,
丹唇外朗，皓齿内鲜，Red lips that shed their light abroad, White teeth gleaming within,
明眸善睐，靥辅承权。Bright eyes skilled at glances, A dimple to round off the base of the cheek —
瑰姿艳逸，仪静体闲。Her rare form wonderfully enchanting, Her manner quiet, her pose demure.
柔情绰态，媚于语言。Gentle-hearted, broad of mind, She entrances with every word she speaks;
奇服旷世，骨像应图。Her robes are of a strangeness seldom seen, Her face and figure live up to her paintings.
披罗衣之璀粲兮，珥瑶碧之华琚。Wrapped in the soft rustle of silken garments, She decks herself with flowery earrings of jasper and jade,
戴金翠之首饰，缀明珠以耀躯。Gold and kingfisher hairpins adorning her head, Strings of bright pearls to make her body shine.
践远游之文履，曳雾绡之轻裾。She treads in figured slippers fashioned for distant wandering, Airy trains of mistlike gauze in tow,
微幽兰之芳蔼兮，步踟蹰于山隅。Dimmed by the odorous haze of unseen orchids, Pacing uncertainly beside the corner of the hill.
(Translated by Burton Watson)
Magical Trip on Qixi (Chinese Valentine’s Day)
《Guardian Warriors of Longmen》
This dance not only shows music performers and flying apsaras in Longmen Grottoes, but also vividly recreates the image of Longmen guardian warriors using AR technology. Based on the latest research from the grottoes, the show restores the original colors of Fengxian Temple, revealing the colorful culture of the grottoes to the world.
The Mid-Autumn Wonderful Tour
《The Crane Going Home》
On the beautiful Mid-Autumn Festival night, the crane, which represents longevity and auspiciousness, flies across the night sky and brings auspicious wishes. ”Crane signifies harmony. ”The program takes the form and cultural connotation of ”crane” to convey the warm praise for holiness, elegance and life, to show the posture and beauty, masculinity and power of the ”crane” and to bring good wishes on Mid-Autumn night.
《Shaolin Kung Fu》
Inspired by the murals of Shaolin Temple in Mount Song, the performance adopts XR technology to perfectly present the wonderful image of dancers entering the mural world and competing with monks, and shows the rich culture of Shaolin Kung Fu; the shooting focuses on Shaolin Temple, combining the four different scenes of ”Wind, Fire, Forest, and Mountain” to show its theme, showing the ancientness and modernness, inheritance and development of Shaolin Kung Fu with dancers, Shaolin monks and contemporary youth.
《Blending Chinese Calligraphy with Dance》
The creative performance “Blending Chinese Calligraphy with Dance” takes Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the ”three rarities” of Chinese calligraphy masterpieces, as the basis to create a new cross-border artistic presentation of calligraphy and performance. The program activates the ”ink” and uses the body to express the charm and beauty of Chinese calligraphy through dynamic dance forms. The complete figuration of the abstract artistic image of ”ink” fully reflects the unique charm of traditional Chinese culture. With vivid expression and bold outline, the dancers are shaped into the image of ”ink”, and a variety of special effects are employed to show the hardness and softness of traditional Chinese calligraphy and the beauty of strength.
《A Pedestrian From The Eastern Capital》
Sheng (a Chinese free reed wood instrument) is verifiably the oldest and the most original musical instrument in China; Mount Laojun is a Taoist mountain famous for its wondrous view; Henan martial arts are broad and profound, among which Chen-style Tai Chi is the best-known. As we try to find the unique presentation of martial arts for the Mid-Autumn Festival, “Harmony” and “Qi” are undoubtedly the most appropriate performing arts. Sheng can be played by both exhaling and inhaling that symbolize Yin and Yang, hence a musical instrument that is harmonious with the Taoist spirit. On the night of reunion, in the atmosphere of beautiful moonlight, the program takes Henan Tai Chi Culture as the carrier to show the harmony between ”movement” and ”stillness” and the balance between ”harmony” and ”courage”, as well as to demonstrate the attitude of China’s development at present.
Chongyang Festival Wonderful Tour
《Phoenix Presenting Rituals》
One of the origins of the Chongyang Festival is the ritual fire ceremony in ancient times, reflecting the ancients’ worship for the god of fire and the wishes for good weather and harvest. The “phoenix”, a symbol of spiritual totem of the ancient Chinese, represents people’s awe and worship of the nature, ardent expectations for a better life and the beauty of wisdom and happiness. Nine is regarded as the number of Yang in China. Therefore, the Yang is excessive on the ninth day of the ninth month of Chinese lunar calendar when Chongyang Festival arrives. Interpreting the origin, development and formation of the “phoenix” strengthens the diversified themes of Chongyang Festival and highlights the atmosphere of praying, reunion and rites.
Sword Dance 《Free and Happy》
As an artistic performance form of classical dance, sword dance is completely different from other dances. It represents the carrier and symbol of different cultures in a certain period and belongs to the prop dance. Prop dance appeared along with the primitive dance when primitive humans were working with tools. It was an entertainment form that combines human body movements with dance. Slowly, with the emergence of sword, sword dance was created. The transition of human dance from holding stone tools and wooden sticks to metal instruments also reflects the progress of human culture. Tai Chi sword dance combines the traditional Chinese martial arts Tai Chi Sword with the elegant style of Chinese literati to create a dance with perfect integration of artistic conception, Qi and strength.
Provided by Henan TV
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