The Dance Above the Cloud---- Garze Tap Dance

Culturefrom:Garze news network

With the New Year approaching, the people in Garze sing and dance. They get together and began to dance their ...

With the New Year approaching, the people in Garze sing and dance. They get together and began to dance their tap dance.

Get together in the New Year

Garze tap dance is full of the atmosphere of folk dance. It is considered to be one of the unique dance performances in Kham. Tap dance is the unique performance of Garze County; it combines the art, elegance and physical fitness together. When the festival arrives, especially the Tibetan New Year, Garze people will get together and dance to celebrate the festivals.

Tibetan areas are known as the ocean of singing and dancing. Ganzi County is located in Kham. A variety of Tibetan Culture developed and then spread to Kham after a long history and several generations’ development. It formed local cultural and art characteristics. Garze tap dance is a rugged and excellent dance performance. Every year during the New Year’s Eve, people decorate houses with lights; friends and relatives bless each other and drink barley alcohol.

Garze tap dance is not only a foot skill performance, but an express of lively and leisurely life in Garze. People are performing the soul of the Tibetan folk customs.

History of Garze tap dance

According to records, tap dance and Tibetan opera were introduced into Garze around eighth century to the ninth century. Garze tap dance is different from the Tibetan or Irish.

As opposed to foot skills, Garze tap dance’s emphasis is more on hands and body movements, which make it more straightforward and natural. The early tap dance has more steps with the arm swinging back and forth, which limited the dance skills. In the early years of Republic of China tap dance became the dance of Garze Temple (Zaba dance). It made some changes about the dance. The performers were all male and normally dance during the autumn harvest. Later it became the folk dance with no gender restrictions.

The Current situation of Garze Tap Dance

After liberation, the Garze Tap Dance was inherited by amateur and professional dancers with the collection of variety dance rhythm. The Garze tap dance developed rapidly with unique skills such as step and spin round, sideways jumps, etc. which become more expressive and allowed the tap dance to develop into a performance with local characteristics. The Garze tap dance now has more arms swing with long sleeves waving. When the rhythm slows down, it makes you feel relaxed and brisk. Once someone said that the Irish tap dance and Tibetan tap dance has its own style, the Garze tap dance has its own character.

The Ethnic Characteristic of Garze Tap Dance

Garze tap dance has its own categories for it remained the tradition of folk dance. It has many jumps, which makes the dance joyful. The dance music is also changed from the Tibetan folk music. Meanwhile, compared to the traditional tap dance, Garze tap dance emphasis more on foot skill and rhythm, powerful but simple. Nowadays, it has been widely adapted for entertainment, performances, folk singing and dance festival and has become the traditional folk dance of Garze County.

The Record of Garze Tap Dance

In 1964, Garze tap dance “Tashdelek” was selected for performance at National Minorities Amateur Cultural Performance Shows in Beijing and received Excellent Program Award. In 1980, the Garze tap dance group participated in the National Farmers Amateur Performance and received Excellent Program Award. In 1990, the Garze tap dance group participated in the 1st Minorities Art Festival and awarded the first prize. In 1993, Garze tap dance group won the first prize in dance at the 1st Youth Arts Festival. In 2000, the choreographic work of the “Garze Children” won first prize in creative performance and special prize in large-scale dance at the 3rd Art Festival and 50 Anniversary of Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze. Meanwhile, the Garze tap dance garnered numerous awards.

In September 1997, Garze organized children's dance group “Snow Lotus Art Team” and participate the 2nd Primary School Students Art show, at which received the first prize. In December 1997, the “Snow Lotus Art Troupe” represents Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze to participate the 2nd "Fast Cup" Art Festival of Primary and Secondary School Students, the show named “Spring Song of Snow Terrain” awarded first prize. In 1988, the choreographic work of “Kham Children” were invited to perform at the 1998 spring festival TV show of Sichuan TV and broadcasted on the 1998 CCTV Spring Festival Gala.

The Soul of Tap Dance---- Forge Ahead into the Future

Garze tap dance has become one of the unique dance genres in the North Kham. The Garze tap dance team has performed in Beijing, Chengdu, Yunnan, Qingdi, etc., to represent Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze and show the audience an incredible dance performance and the spirit of Garze people. Garze tap dance is the indispensable part of Garze people’s life and they inherit the dance voluntary. The Garze tap dance represents the Tibetan culture. By performing on the modern stage made the culture of minority be preserved in more and more people’s heart. Because the art of the minorities is art of the world.

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