Home of Song & Dance

XinjiangUygur Autonomous Region is the largest of China's autonomous regions and has abundant natural resources. It has long been known as "a land of song and dance." Singing and dancing are integral parts of the local life and have been around for centuries. Influenced by the ancientSilk Roadcivilizations and the exchange and integration of the Eastern and Western cultures, song-and-dance styles in the region have developed their own unique charm and stand out as sparkling jewels among all song-and-dance arts across China.

The splendor of Xinjiang's song and dance is attributed to all ethnic groups in the region. The vastness of the land, the variety of the population, natural environment, economic conditions and cultural backgrounds, as well as people's working modes, lifestyle, mindset and aesthetic tendencies, have resulted in the immense diversity and richness of the arts.

The Uygurs in Xinjiang are especially known for their skill in singing and dancing. On festive days and at gatherings of friends and relatives, the Uygurs love to sing and dance. Their lively dances demonstrate diligence, bravery, openness and optimism.

Uygur folk dances are distinguished by head and wrist movements. Their clever coordination is enhanced by the typical posture of tilted heads, thrust chests and erect waists. The dances, Sanam in particular,express the Uygurs' feelings and character.

A slight shivering movement is characteristic of the Uygur folk dances. The rhythmic and continuous shivering of the knees and the momentary shiver when a movement is changed lend grace and continuity.

The fast turns of the Uygur folk dances emphasize the speed and are followed by an abrupt stop, like a soaring eagle that alights suddenly. The various dances all have their own turns. A turning contest brings dances to their climax. There are special tempi for various Uygur folk dances, but syncopation and dotted rhythms are prominent features in many.

The most famous folk dances, to name a few, include Sanam, Dolan, Sama, Xiadiyana and Nazirkom folk dances, which enjoy wide popularity among the Uygurs.