Oriental Dance

White Crane Martial Arts specialise in the following Oriental Dance;

Fan Dance
Ribbon Dance
Long Sleeve
Handkerchief Dance
Umbrella Dance

Instructor Shaf
Shaf studied these traditional Oriental Dances in Beijing, Fuzhou, and Shanghai in China and is graded by the Beijing Wushu Association. She has also studied traditional Iranian Cultural Dances.

Dance is a living art form which evolves as the years roll by. As cultures grow, dances evolve and grow with them. Dance reaches out and touches so many lives and different cultures will adopt dances from other countries and assimilate them into their own.

Fan Dance
The fan dance had been part of Chinese Culture since the Han Dynasty. There are differences between the Military and Civilian Fan Dance. In the Civilian, the dance is very often learnt from the older members of the family and then passed down the generations.

Most Oriental Dances act out stories and legends.

Ribbon Dance
Ribbon dance originates in the Han Dynasty and peaks in the Tang Dynasty. The Ribbon dance known as Cai Dai Wu Dao was originally only performed to Royalty.

This dance was originally created to honour Hsiang Po, who saved the life of the Emperor by blocking an attack by a sword with his sleeve. The Sleeve and Ribbon dance were created. At first the sleeve was represented by two short ribbons.

During the Tang Dynasty the dance changed and a long ribbon was attached to a stick. The dance was then changed to represent forces of nature such as rainbows and rushing rivers and also creatures such as dragons.

During these dances it is important to express emotion.

Bright colours are chosen for ribbons. Red symbolizes luck and happiness. Gold represents wealth and prosperity. Dark and light green ribbons represent dragons.

Broad slow movements represent the rainbow in the sky and small choppy movements represent rivers and streams.

Handkerchief Dance
There are many cultures who have adopted the Handkerchief dance. Colourful handkerchiefs are used with synchronised steps to represent stories cultural philosophical and historical.

Handkerchiefs are often combined with fan and sword and dancers perform individually in couples or groups.

Umbrella Dance
This dance originates in Jinzhou, where the umbrella would be presented as a gift for weddings, funerals and birthdays. This dance would be performed particularly during the Lantern Festival.

Basic movements include rolling, twisting, gripping and turning.