The Vigorous “Hair Swinging Dance” of Gaoshan Ethnic Group

Gaoshan people are good at singing and dancing ever from the ancient times. Almost all the dinners, get-togethers or big activities can not do without the lyrical songs and dance. Gaoshan dance has distinct primitive color, simulating, reflecting and reproducing those movement and scenes of fishing, hunting, and farming. Though its content is rich and colorful, its forms are mostly collective dance. The number of participants varies from dozens of to several hundred, even to thousands of. Often with the bonfire as the center, people drink, sing, and dance. Forming a circle hand in hand, people stamp their feet, jump, shake their bodies, and wave their hands rhythmically. The vigorous, beautiful and passionate scene makes people acclaim it as the acme of perfection. The “hair swinging dance” features such a kind of traditional dance showing Gaoshan people¡¯s bold, unstrained, and optimistic spirit.

The “hair swinging dance” is one kind of its unique dance of Yamei women. Generally, the number of participants is not restricted, but long hair is required. When in dance, the women form a line and wave their bodies and hair slowly, with their arms held together, their hands placed on the chest, the steps moving back and forth. With the quickening of the melody of the music, the swing range of the body and head is growing larger and larger, and the dance gradually enters into the climax: stepping forward, bending their knees and waists, swinging their long hair forward; stepping backwards, straightening their waists, swinging their hair rapidly. The movement goes round like that again and again, while the hair frequently strokes the ground like flickering willow branches in the wild wind.

Highlighting the long dark hair, the dance contains strong primitive vitality, and has been well received by Gaoshan people all the time.