Songs and Dances in Jiuzhaigou
Tibetans are nationality good at singing and dancing. Songs are hears everywhere in Tibetan villages, at work, at religious rituals, and in daily lives. They have drinking songs, tea songs, road songs, and songs and dances have become part of their life. Water of Jiuzhaigou sings endlessly all the year round, trees of Jiuzhaigou dance day and night, birds of Jiuzhaigou are vhriping out melodies from dawn to dusk. Songs and dances give birth to the lively nature of Jiuzhaigou people. Furthmore, with the dancing and singing genes inherited from their forefathers, people of Jiuzhaigou live in a world of songs and dances.
You Are Urged to Drink
Tourists to Jiuzhaigou are often invited to drink aromatic qingke barley liquor as long as they visit Tibetan families. The host holds up the full cup, and flips a few droplets from it, upward, downward and midway, respectively to show respect for Heaven, parents and guests. If you are allergic to liquor or a little shy, the host will sing a drink-invitation song over his cup.
Local folk songs are high-pitched, elegant, forthright, profound, lenient, inartificial, and of strong national characters. The antiphonal style is one entertainment form that attracts largest numbers of listeners in Jiuzhaigou. Group to group, village to village, men to women, the songs are exchanged, echoed, in varied and colorful tones and pitches.
The bamboo flute is a musical instrument that young men take with them wherever they go. It is made of the arrow bamboo, able to blow out modified tones which are high pitched, melodious, and ear-pleasing. Fluting of strong Tibetan characters is heard on lakesides and in woods of Jiuzhaigou.
The Bamboo Mouthpiece is a musical instrument that women take with them wherever they go, and is a gift by their male lovers. Its tones are gracious and lingering. About 8cm long, the piece has an exquisite case with elaborate patterns carved on, and serves as both an instrument and an adborment.
Songs accompany people of Jiuzhaigou in their dances and work. Songs give rhythms to work, and are designed according to different situations, e.g. for grazing, farming, building the house, and even for housework. Now, as Jiuzhaigou is listed as the International Tourist Resort, farmland is returned for forestry purposes. Since local people no longer work in farm fields, nor in rangeland, they use their songs to amuse visiting tourists.
It is the most popular style of dances in Jiuzhaigou. According to Tibetan historical records, in the 3rd Century B.C., people went crazy about dancing, everywhere in Tibet. It originated from the form by which they danced around a campfire, all the time. And this dance has been with the Tibetan nationality throughout their history.
Guozhuang has three kinds: Temple Guozhuang, pastoral Guozhuang and Farm Guozhuang. The Temple Guozhuang event is organised for religious purpose in temples or monasteries, or for greeting and sending-off the Living Buddha. It is solemn of strong religious implications, through which, believers dance in honor of the Living Buddha, grateful for their expected bliss in their afterlife. The Pastoral and Farm Guozhuang are enthusiastic, unrestrained, and somewhat complacent. It is organized for festivals and big occasions when men wear loose trousers dancing like an eagle spreading its wings; women expose their right arms dancing with the right sleeve waggling behind. Moving around a circle, they sway their joined hands frontward and backward, keep beats of their steps, until very late at night.
People of Jiuzhaigou like Guozhuang, and often invite tourists to join them. Guozhuang dancers hold their hands, dancing in a circle, forming pan-or snail-shaped patterns, with one circle of dancers inside another. At the climax, they kick their feet and shout to their hearts' content. Guozhuang of Jiuzhaigou excites dancers and any one that joins in, and it gives your great vigor, heroic sunlimity, and intense ambience of the time.
It is another form of outdoor song/dance entertainments. The most important feature is that actors and actresses put on masks for their performance. It is said that this form was invented in the 15th century by the Reverend Monk Tangdong Jiebu. When he traveled in Tibetan, he found that rivers contributed to much inconvenience for local people, and determined to build cable bridges across all the rivers. He coordinated with seven brothers and sisters who were good at dancing singing, and started a special form of song and dance with themes like history, religious stories, teaching for good deeds and charity. Highly commending his act undertaken for the public good, Tibetan monks donate money and material supplies to build the cable bridges. When construction completed, the Tibetan drama troupe became popular in Tibetan-inhabited regions.
The mask of Tibetan drama varies in colors, each of which implies differently. Blue and dark masks refer to the working-class people, the red and the green denote kingship and queenship, and the yellow means the Living Buddha, the white-dark mask implies the talebearer and witch. Actors also put on masks of animals that are colored with religious suppositions, displaying the Tibetan totem worship.
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