Shen Yun Creations: The Technical Moves of Classical Chinese Dance, Episodes 1-5
Classical Chinese dance is one way in which 5,000 years of Chinese culture has been passed down and retained. It is a dance form built on profound classical aesthetics. In its early days, it was developed primarily in the imperial courts, alongside entertainment for the common populace, as well as through ancient plays. Over thousands of years, this art continually matured and was refined, culminating into the vast, systematic, and distinctly Chinese dance form that we know today.
Classical Chinese dance has very specialized training progressions in foundational skills, as well as rigorous training in unique movements and postures. Furthermore, it involves combinations of leaps, turns, flips, spins, as well as other aerial and tumbling techniques. These elements make classical Chinese dance an extensive and independent system of dance.
At the heart of classical Chinese dance are China's deeply rooted cultural traditions, empowering its dance movements to be richly expressive, such that the personalities and feelings of characters can be portrayed with unparalleled clarity. Through this expressiveness, it is capable of depicting scenes from any time period—be it ancient or modern, Eastern or Western—in a strikingly vivid way.
In our series The Technical Moves of Classical Chinese Dance, we invite Shen Yun dancers to give us a tour through some of the most signature techniques of classical Chinese dance, introducing the core repertoire and breaking it down into lay terms.
Ever wonder what these moves are called or where they come from? What does it take to do them right? How are they distinct from similar moves in martial arts, ballet, gymnastics, or other art forms?
In this first episode, Principal Dancer William Li gives us a brief overview of classical Chinese dance and sheds some light on its distinct traits.
Shen Yun Principal Dancer Angela Xiao introduces us to a core classical Chinese dance move, the fan shen.
This is a technical move that really brings out the colorful beauty of Shen Yun couture, especially the billowing skirts. What are the different forms of fan shen? How does one perform these moves correctly? And how are they showcased on the Shen Yun stage?
Join Angela to find out.
Shen Yun dancer Jacky Pun introduces us to the classical Chinese dance move, shuang fei yan (literally “double flying swallows”).
Also known as the straddle jump, this basic technical move has specific requirements and combination options.
Join Jacky to discover the shuang fei yan’s proper form and the colorful nuances it has on stage.
The Firebird (a back-of-the-head kick) is an artistically versatile move in many dance forms today, but did you know it actually originated from classical Chinese dance and has a history of over a thousand years? In this episode of The Technical Moves of Classical Chinese Dance, Shen Yun dancer Diana Teng explains the background and the training behind the movement.
In this series’ fifth episode, dancer Daniel Sun breaks down a core classical Chinese dance move—the zan bu.
If you’ve ever watched a martial arts movie, you’ve likely seen this move before, as it is a very common move in Chinese kung fu. But did you know that it’s also used in classical Chinese dance? In this episode, Daniel introduces this powerful jump kick, explains its origins, and gives tips on how to master it.
In addition to these dance expositions, Shen Yun Creations features a growing collection of premium content including original Shen Yun symphony pieces, short operas, classical concertos, as well as Shen Yun dance stories, exclusive dance training series, and much more.
Shen Yun Creations is updated regularly. Stay tuned for exciting developments!