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A show of fighting spirit

Updated: 2024-03-16 10:22 ( China Daily )
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Performances of Puning Yingge dance feature not only electrifying action but also colorful and exciting costumes. [Photo by YU GUO/CHINA DAILY]

Since January, Chen and 15 other selected dancers had been working by day and training by night for a series of performances at landmarks in London.

It was the first time the dance had been seen in person anywhere in Europe.

All the 16 performers taking part in the United Kingdom tour hail from Nanshan Yingge dance team, one of the most exceptional Yingge dance troupes in China. Nanshan is a village in Puning.

On Feb 10, the squad, under the direction of the Guangdong Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism with support from the cultural section of China's embassy in the UK, took center stage at London's Burlington Arcade, to mark the start of the Year of the Dragon. The performance was part of a series of activities hosted by the shopping gallery to herald Spring Festival.

On the day, as the spectacle unfolded in the long hallway, crowds flocked to see what was happening, holding mobile phones aloft to film and take photos of the excitement and immersing themselves in the thundering sound and explosion of color.

"The performance is electrifying. I feel like it has woken up everybody in the arcade," says Trupti Shah, Burlington Arcade's commercial director.

Mark Lord, the arcade's head beadle, jokes that Europe has patiently waited to catch its first glimpse of the Puning Yingge dance.

"We've waited more than 300 years for the dance troupe to leave China and come and perform in Europe," he says.

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