Amateur dancers embrace performing at Beijing festival

By Chen Nan(China Daily)
Updated: 2017-05-24 08:14:30

Students from Beijing Dance Academy perform in two Chinese dances, Chen Xiang and Fei Tian. [Photo provided to China Daily]

One year after Tong Jiajia was admitted to study at Peking University in 1998, the international relations major applied to participate in the Beijing College Student Dance Festival.

For Tong, who is an amateur dancer and learned traditional Chinese folk dance as a child, it was a great stage to fulfill her dream of being a dancer.

During her studies at Peking University, Tong participated in the annual dance festival every year, performing a variety of dances, including contemporary dance works, traditional Chinese folk dances and folk dances of other cultures.

"You don't have to be a dance professional to enjoy and perform dance works onstage. I truly enjoyed myself when I was dancing," says Tong.

She adds that it's also a way to explore what it's like to be a dance professional and explore different styles of dance.

The dance festival runs through June 2.

The event has over 100 Beijing-based universities and colleges, including Peking University, Tsinghua University, Beijing Normal University and Renmin University of China, presenting 26 dance performances to the public, ranging from ballet and folk dance to contemporary performances.

Students from Beijing Dance Academy perform in two Chinese dances, Chen Xiang and Fei Tian. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Now, as a teacher at the School of Arts of Peking University, Tong not only offers students dance training and dance theory, but also takes them to participate in the festival.

This year, she will lead around two dozen students who study different majors at Peking University.

They will perform a dance work titled Dainty Beauty.

Tong says that the work is inspired by a trip in 2015 to Midu county in the Dali Bai autonomous prefecture located in western Yunnan province.

Tong spent about a week there with five students, visiting villages and learning the local dance and music.

The typical dance of that region sees performers dancing with fans and flower-decorated lanterns.

In Dainty Beauty, students will preserve the authenticity of the dance while creating a contemporary take on those dance moves.

"Art education is vital for the development of a student. The primary focus of the Beijing College Student Dance Festival is to support and promote the talent and the students' creativity in college and university. It is an exciting and inspiring experience for our students," says professor Pan Zhishou of Beijing Dance Academy, one of the main organizers of the dance festival.

[Photo provided to China Daily]

[Photo provided to China Daily]

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