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"Flower" dance blossoms under the new system

Time:2011-11-04   Source:CNTV.CN

"Hua Gu Deng," which literally means "Flower Drum Lantern," is a traditional Chinese folk dance that originated in the Song Dynasty some 800 years ago.

The art form has been much favored by people along the Huaihe River Valley due to its vigorous combination of dancing, singing, gong and drum beating, martial arts and acrobatics.

Since 2009, the performance, billed as the "Ballet of the East," has been revived through a series of reforms and a bunch of new programs have come out to satisfy the appetite of today’s audiences.

Dancers of the Flower Drum Lantern Art Group in Fengtai County of East China’s Anhui Province are busy rehearsing a new show called "Pheonix Pavilion." It is the ensemble’s key project and will tour around the nation next year.

Since the cultural system reforms took place across Anhui Province, all the traditional art troupes have faced pressure to become self-sustaining. The Flower Drum Lantern has a long tradition containing wide and profound social implications, so the group produced a series of shows that tightly link it to modern social life. As a result, the shows have regained their popularity.

Song Zhongyang, director of Fengtai Flower Drum Lantern Art Group, said, "In the past, we performed once or twice a month. Now we get a lot more contracts and perform around 50 times a year."

Huainan city’s annual culture industry budget is 10 million yuan. With this stable backup, the Fengtai Art Group is able to invest in infrastructure and create programs that are imbued with the vibrant artistic value that embodies the straightforwardness and optimism of people living in the area.