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Ninghai Bajiu Dance


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Bajiu Dance (wine-presenting dance) was an old and graceful wedding dance popular in many places throughout Ninghai county. Performed by young ladies, the dance had a strong grassroots flavor and local features. 

Most of the dance’s movements were small, looking deceptively easy. Bajiu Dance was performed with gentleness and stableness to display the introverted temperament of Oriental women. Stable body movements, even steps and a flat arm position were the basics required for the Bajiu Dancers. 

When Bajiu Dance was played, cups were usually filled with wine. Then dancers, carrying full cups of wine, would dance without spilling a single drop of the wine. The longer a Bajiu dancer could hold the cup of wine without spilling, the better a performance she presented. Excellent Bajiu Dancers would instantly gain fame, bringing honor to their families.

Bajiu Dance followed 3 dancing procedures—“Contact”, "Bajiu" and "Gentle Steps". “Bajiu” literally means “carrying wine,” and was the most of the three procedures. The dancers would make various dancing movements while steadily carrying the cups of wine.

According to the Record of Ninghai, the emergence and popularity of Bajiu Dance was connected with the local custom of a grand wedding ceremony.

Most of Bajiu Dancers learned from wedding ceremonies when Bajiu Dance is performed, while others learned from their mothers several days before the performance.

For its simple form and rich sentiment, Bajiu Dance was once very popular among the local people, though it has since disappeared from wedding ceremonies now.