Sample Art Essay Paper on Yangko Dance

Part 1

Yangko Dance

The Yangko is a traditional folk dance of the Han Chinese. It developed in the Song dynasty as a village music. The dance style is popular in Northern China and is the main representative of China’s folk dances. Moreover, the dance style is popular both in cities and the countryside in addition to being popular with the older generation. The dance style encompasses crowds of people coming from their homes and dancing together in a cycle or a line formation in the streets.

Dancers dress up in colorful costumes with the dominant color being the red color. The dance’s form encompasses dancers rhythmically swinging their bodies to music. The music is sweetened by the use of instruments such as drums, gongs and trumpets (Cheng et al 28). The form also entails using the waists and hips to drive the feet to sync with the music being played. However, this is a dance which welcomes the public to participate hence more and more people join the dance’s lines and dances along.

The dance’s history shows that it is centuries old. It is estimated that the dance style is at least one thousand years old since its introduction by the Han Dynasty. It is usually performed during the lantern festival. However, the dance style has changed and the common variation seen in contemporary China is a Yangko dance style born in the 1940s. During this period, the Chinese Communist Party came up with a new Yangko whereby the dance was adopted as a methodology of eliciting village support. In this new dance form, the dance was simplified into three quick steps done in a forward move, one step done in a backward move followed by a pause and then a repeat of the whole process. Unlike in its former form, the modern dances’ form incorporates socialist symbolisms such as the dance’s leader holding a sickle instead of the formally used umbrella. In addition to this, the dance’s name has been changed and is known as “reform yangge” or “struggle yangge” (Cheng et al 28).

Part 2

The video that is to be compared with the above dance form is; Jocelyn Pook Dust Akram Khan, English National Ballet. This dance form is a ballet which expostulates the happenings of the first world one. The ballet’s opening segment shows a contorted male body which is given tentacular “arms” by the other cast possibly as a show of the brokenness experienced by the individuals depicted in the ballet’s storyline. In the second segment, the ballet depicts women munitions workers who put the Scarlett’s in the shade. These women clad in grey, are tough, unsentimental, and dance with clenched fists. The last part of the dance shows the hardships experienced when reestablishing relationships after a separation.

When compared with the Yangko Dance, the ballet seems to be aesthetically superior. First, the ballet elicits more melancholic emotions from the audience. This is due to the story that the dance seems to be talking about. In retrospect, The Yangko Dance encompasses people dancing happily to folk songs without much emotions. Secondly, it is noted that the ballet is more organized and choreographed. The ballet looks like a professional piece of work which tells a particular story in precision (Liiv et al 208).

The movement of the limbs is coordinated to mirror a specific part of the story. It is also pointed out that the ballet is done on a stage and is done by professional dancers. On the other hand, the Yangko Dance is a folk dance which is danced on the streets. In addition to having the lead dancers, the rest of the public is free to join in the dance and move along the rhythmic steps. Additionally, this dance is not done on a stage, unlike the ballet.

 Lastly, the grey costume worn by the ballet dancers is made to show the melancholic mood encompassed in the dance. It also shows the toughness of the characters portrayed in the dance. The Yangko Dance, on the other hand, encompasses brightly clad dancers who elicit a celebration mood. Overall, the two dance styles are different in form and serve various purposes. 

Works Cited

CHENG, Yun-Feng, Qiu-hong HAN, and Jin-zhu LI. “On the Influence of Yangko Dance on Advanced and Middle-aged Women’s Function of Heart and Lung [J].” Journal of Beijing Sports University 10 (2008): 026.

Liiv, Helena, et al. “Anthropometry, somatotypes, and aerobic power in ballet, contemporary dance, and dancesport.” Med Probl Perform Art 28.4 (2013): 207-11.