Official Umbrella Dancing (官伞舞)
Official Umbrella originated in the area around Jinzhou. Long ago, Jingzhou natives have a habit of presenting the umbrella that is a valuable gift to present for weddings, funeral arrangements and congratulating the birthday. And the designs are different at different occasions. So Official Umbrella Dancing is based on this wide social psychology. The performance of Official Umbrella Dancing is mostly performed during the Lantern Festival Days. This traditional performance has been studied, arranged, revised and improved in recent years.
The base of Official Umbrella Dancing team is the dancing group that is made up of 2 to 3 roles. The two-person group consists of one man and one woman while the three-person group consists of two men and one woman. The man holds an umbrella while the woman holds a pan in the right hand and a handkerchief in the left. The dancing group has no unitary formation, and the number of performers is not fixed.
The roles of Official Umbrella Dancing depend on the dancers. The man act the young sheng who wear the colored trousers, red hat and band; the woman act the young dan who wear the cape, colored trousers, a brain and flowers. Some people also act the young couple, old couple even the monk and Taoist priest.
The basic movements of Official Umbrella Dancing include the rolling, twisting, gripping and turning. The “rolling” refers to sole’s rolling. The “twisting” refers to the different directions of the leg, waist and upper part of the body. The “gripping” refers to grip the two legs. The “turning” refers to the turning of shoulders, especially turning to opposite directions. All these movements are the special style of Official Umbrella Dancing.
The band of Official Umbrella Dancing mainly consists of the suona horn and percussion instruments. The suona horn with a big stick is the major accompanied instrument. The percussion instruments include the barrel-shaped drum, big gong, big cymbals, small gong and small cymbals. The major music plays are “dabaidui”, “general’s order” and “happiness of harvest” etc.