Guozhuang- The Ethnic dancing in the Circle


The Guozhuang Dance, is also known as Guozhuo, Gezhuang or Zhuo, etc. It means circle dance in Tibetan and it ...

The Guozhuang Dance, is also known as “Guozhuo”, “Gezhuang” or “Zhuo”, etc. It means circle dance in Tibetan and it originated from ancient religious activities. Later, the dance gradually evolved into a distinctive Tibetan dance—Guozhuang Dance. In the past, there was “Guozhuang” in Kangding for merchants to stay overnight. In the evening, merchants often boiled tea and then sang and dance around the “Huotang” (a kind of Chinese fireplace) after meal. Guozhuang is divided into wool, Jiqing, rabbit, drunken according to the types; it is also divided into Xinlong Guozhuang, Danba Guozhuang, Zhenda Guozhuang in Shiqu and so on according to the region

Xinlong Guozhuang is not only a typical representative of Xinlong Culture, but also a model of Kham folk songs and dances. There is a saying, “The people who knows how to dance Batang xuanzi (a type of Tibetan dance), knows Xinlong Guozhuang”. Xinlong Guozhuang is divided into three types, namely, Shangzhan Guozhuang, Zhongzhan Guozhuang, and Xiazhan Guozhuang. The prototype is the folk ritual dance of the ancient Qiang culture. With the spread of Tubo (Tibetan regime in ancient China) influence, the ancient Qiang culture gradually fused into Tubo culture. Under the influence of Tibetan culture, Xinlong Guozhuang evolved into a typical Tibetan circle dance. In the middle and late Qing Dynasty, some songs and dances in Tibet were borrowed and incorporated into others, which made it more standardized.

When it is during a festival or at work, Xinlong men, women and children gathered together, danced and expressed their joy. When you dance Guozhuang, you need to choose a flat ground. The men and women line up separately and there is no limit to the number of people. Then people make a circle with candy, barley wine and Hada in the middle. The men's and women's teams are guided by zhuoben, who is experienced in performing. Behinde zhuoben is ranked according to the dance skills. Beginners are at the end of the team. The performers dressed in Pulu coat (woolen fabric produced in Tibet for making blankets, garments, etc.) made of otter skin, tiger skin, or leopard skin. The necklace was made of precious nine-eyed beads, coral beads; they wear Xiawu (a Tibetan accessory), red hair, and a heroic knot (a Tibetan adornment). Women are gorgeously dressed with silver headwear, turquoise earrings or silver earrings with coral. Accessories include belts inlaid with silver or silver flowers and with silver bag, silver chain or silver ornament hanging on the belt. During the performance, the men's team begins to sing first. The women's team sings what the men’s team sang again. The men's team then begins to sing and dance. After that, the women's team dances. Both teams take turns to dance. After the first Guozhuang dance finishes, the second dance is begin the singing of women’s team. Then repeat just as the first dance. The person who host the Guozhuang dance takes turns to offer Hada as well as highland barley wine and confectioneries to zhuoben and performers, If they dance at night, they just burn a bunch of bonfires and dance till the middle of the night.

Xinlong Guozhuang's characteristics in dance movements are mainly sleeves swing, stepping and squatting, stamping feet of which the knee trembling is particularly common. The trembling is sometimes very gentle, sometimes intense and looks very flexible. The dance movements are steady, the long sleeves are flowing, and their steps are just on the rhythms. The female dancers’ movements are gentle; they are dignified like lotus, or peacock. The male dancers are vigorous, not only the big arms’ waving, but also the obvious leg movements. It looks like the eagle spreads its wings, or a prowling dragon.

The lyrics of Xinlong Guozhuang are also very beautiful, with the charm and brilliance of traditional Tibetan folk songs.

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