Peacock Dance of Dai Minority

The Peacock Dance is the most famous dance in the Dai Minority area of Yunnan Province, China. It has a legend about the origin of the peacock dance. One day a thousand years ago, the father figure of Dai Minority saw a beautiful peacock dancing gracefully, and he could not help imitating it. From generation to generation, thousands of folk dancers made the "Peacock Dance" perfect continuously.

History of the Peacock Dance:
It is a long history of peacock dance. In Donghan Dynasty, the Dai people often went to Luoyang (the ancient capital of China) to dedicate the "Peacock Dance" to the emperor. It can be seen that the Peacock Dance had already had a high level two thousand years ago.

The Importance of Peacock Dance:
In Dai people's hearts, the peacock is the symbol of beauty, happiness and luck. Of all kinds of dances of the Dai Minority, the peacock dance is their favorite one. The peacock has been brought into the religious amenity. Whenever there are festivals, fairs, or parties, Dai people will perform the peacock dance to celebrate.

Performing Procedure of the Peacock Dance:
Dai people know the living habits of peacocks, so they perform the peacock dance gracefully really like a peacock in dance. The procedure contains several steps. At the beginning of the dance, a peacock flies outside from its nest, watching around sensitively, and begins to dance elegantly. Then, it pokes the grass and looks for food and water. When it finds food and water, it will go to the river bank and take a bath. At last, the peacock outspreads its wings and flies happily.

The Features of the "Peacock Dance":
First, the dancers' knees always wave flexibly. It is a common feature of Dai dance. The knees don't wave mechanically but are flexible according to the change in performers' sentiment. 

Second, the elegant dance is shown by the flexibility of the performers' arms, wrists, and fingers. The movements are soft and elegant to show the docility of peacocks.

Third, the performers' legs move promptly and the eyes move flexibly to show the flexibility of the peacock.

The "Peacock Dance" is the crystal of the Dai people's wisdom. It has a high value of appreciation. On May 20, 2006, the Peacock Dance of Dai Minority was listed to be the first National Grade Cultural Heritage.

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