Huteng dance

Source: Global Times [16:18 July 20 2009]



Huteng Dance, or Heaping Dance of the Northern Nomads in English was a male solo dance popular among the northwestern ethnic minority groups in the ancient State of Shi (somewhere near present-day Tashkent). It was introduced into the Central Plains in the Northern Dynasties. During the Tang Dynasty, the areas along the Hexi Corridor became a trade center where ethnic minority people and those from the Central Plains did business. When there were deals clinched, the two parties would drink to celebrate and the businesspeople from the northern tribes would dance to add to the fun. Thus Huteng Dance gained popularity around the Hexi Corridor. Later, some changes were made to the dance, which was made a healthy court dance.

"Forceful, natural, unrestrained and humorous" are how the dance looks. The main movements include head swaying, hip twisting, and leaping while lifting the knees. The dance puts great emphasis on leg techniques. According to the vivid description of Huteng Dance by poets of the Tang Dynasty, the dancer wears a peaked tribal cap, narrow-sleeved robe with a long belt bearing grape motifs around the waist, and brocade boots, performing the dance on a carpet. When jumping, the dancer looks like a flying bird, with his belt giving out sounds. The accompanying instruments include flute and pipa, etc.

A lot of movements in Huteng Dance were later absorbed in martial arts, enriching wushu movements