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Kangba Erhan -- First Dancer of Xinjiang


Kangba Erhan (1922-1994) was reputed as "the first dancer of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region". Born in Kashi, where "one can sing if he can speak and can dance if he can walk", she demonstrated her dancing talents very early.

At the end of the 1930s, she entered the Moscow Music and Dance Institute and fortunately performed in the same play with G. Ulanova, the world-famous ballerina.

At the beginning of the 1940s, she came back to China. Employing her professional knowledge, she brought various kinds of folk dances scattered throughout Xinjiang onto stage. Her shows in border areas and the hinterland had a big influence. She accompanied the Xinjiang Youth Dance Troupe to perform in Nanjing and Shanghai in 1947 and created a furor. Due to her lovely but dignified dance, Kangba Erhan was reputed as "Mei Lanfang of Xinjiang".

Kangba Erhan was not only an artist but also an educator She was dean of the Folk Art Department in the Northwest Art Institute for many years, when she systematically sorted out the teaching materials of different ethnic group dances in Xinjiang and fostered several generations of excellent dancers. Representative works of hers includePlate Dance,LinpadaiteandWuxiake.

ThePlate Dancewas approved as one of the Dance Classics of the Chinese Nation in the 20th Century.

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