Song and dance of Tibetan Ethnic Group

The Zang people are good at singing and dancing. People who can talk can sing, and where there is crowd, there is dance. Tibetan dance and song are twins, impossible to be separated from each other. If they sing, they are sure to dance, and they dance while singing. There are a great variety of Tibetan dances, and we only take some common dances as examples.

Guixie (circle dance) is a kind of self-pleasing song and dance popular in countryside of Tibet. When dancing, people hold one another’s hand into a circle, and they are divided into different teams with one team singing a song and the other teams joining in the chorus. The songs rise one after another, and people stamp on the ground as rhythm singing while dancing. It is often seen at the edge of villages, open ground or wheat-beating ground in farming areas. On festive occasions, people dance from morning till night, and return home after thoroughly enjoying themselves. Because words of “Guoxie” is easy to understand, the sounds are harmonious, and the words can be created extemporaneously, Tibetan people often exchange their true feelings and pour out their cherished desire for nice and happy life through the song and dance style.

Duixie (tap dance) is a kind of song and dance in countryside from Lazi to Dingri. It started in the middle of the 17th century. In one of the “Xuedun Festivals”, when performing Zang opera, Jongba Zang opera group from the latter Tibet alternated a kind of dance, which was accompanied with six-stringed instrument and took stamping as rhythm. Then it became cheerful and enthusiastic folk dance of the latter Tibet. Later it was improved by actors and dancers, and became urbanized Tibetan tap dance. It is the most popular in Lhasa and Rikeze, and is often seen at open ground, street, courtyard and “Linka” (parks).

Zhuoxie (drum dance) is mainly popular in Shannan, Lhasa and Rikeze. Drum dance is generally played by male performers. The dancer wears colored clothes and cloak hat made of white cloth, wears an apron around waist and ties a string of small bells around the leg. They also pass two silk girdles through the two iron rings on a flat leather drum, and tie one around the left thigh and another around the waist. The dancer waves a pair of feather hammers with both hands to rap the drum while flitting to and fro. The drum rumbles, the bells jingle, the rhythm is cheerful, and it is full of power. When the high tide of the performer comes, the dancer begins to show drum-beating skills. He beats the drum while singing at first. Then when the dancing morale becomes high, he stops singing and begins to perform some acrobatic movements, such as “flinging the waist while beating the drum”, “flinging the braid to beat the drum”, “beating drum while moving bended knees”, etc, which make people’s morale reach the high tide. Then he finishes beating drum in fanatical and exciting atmosphere.