Shaxi Old Theatre Inn is a registered historic cultural landmark in Jianchuan County and the favorite Shaxi guesthouse of discerning travelers. Traditional Shaxi music and dance at Old Theatre Inn
 

Traditional Shaxi music and dance is still well preserved and practiced in Shaxi, though visitors typically can only see performances during Bai ethnic holidays. For guests at Old Theatre Inn, we offer both Shaxi music and traditional dance performances for groups of guests on a regular basis. Our five female staff at Old Theatre, like most local village women, regularly practice and perform Bai dance.

Another great opportunity for traditional Bai music enthusiasts is the Shaxi Singing Festival, held at the end of August each year at Shibaoshan. Song and dance troupes from all around the Dali and Lijiang region come to perform for three days to huge local crowds. There are few tourists here and a lot of lively cultural traditions on display.

Old Theatre Inn staff perform Bai dance in the courtyard - Shaxi Old Theatre Inn - Yunnan China

Old Theatre Inn staff perform Bai dance in the courtyard. From Left: Xiao Hui (Sam), Xiao Zhang (Jessica), San Mei, Ji Pin and Shi Xiang.

 

The Bai ethnic dances include the Rattle Stick dance and Fan Dance. The Bawangbian Dance (霸王鞭) or Rattle Stick Dance is one of the most popular forms of Shaxi bai dance. It is the most representative and most widely spread dance form of the Dali Bai ethnic group. It is preformed not only in some traditional folk activities such as Rao San Ling  绕三菱, or “Celebrating the First Lunar Month”, but also on other occasions such as house-buildings, weddings, temple fairs and holiday festivals.

A rattle stick is made from a meter-long hollow bamboo stick drilled with four or five small holes filled with several copper coins. When dancing, the women use the sticks to tap gently at the ground, knees and shoulders to make the rattle sound. The dance steps and movements are harmonized into postures to match the rattling.

Shaxi fan dance at Old Theatre Inn - Yunnan China

Old Theatre Inn staff perform a Bai fan dance in the courtyard for a group of guests.

 

Singing traditional Shaxi music at Old Theatre Inn - Shaxi Yunnan China

Staff perform traditional Shaxi music at Old Theatre Inn – Shaxi Yunnan China

 

Old Theatre Inn staff demonstrate traditional Bai dance in the courtyard - Shaxi Old Theatre Inn Yunnan China

Old Theatre Inn staff demonstrate traditional Bai dance in the courtyard for a student group.

 

traditional shaxi music performance - Old Theatre Inn - Yunnan China

Traditional shaxi music performance by Duan Village elders – Old Theatre Inn stage – Yunnan China

 

Bai women from Jianchuan at the Shaxi Singing Festival - Shaxi Yunnan China

Bai women from Jianchuan at the Shaxi Singing Festival – Shaxi Yunnan China

 

Shaxi music performance - Shaxi old town Sideng Square - Yunnan China

A traditional Shaxi music performance in old town Sideng Square – Yunnan China (Photo Kevin Kelly)

 

Black Yi woman at the Shaxi Singing Festival - Shibaoshan Shaxi Yunnan

Black Yi woman at the Shaxi Singing Festival – Shibaoshan Shaxi Yunnan

 

Traditional Shaxi music performance group at the Sideng Theatre Temple - Shaxi Yunnan China

Traditional Shaxi music performance group at the Sideng Theatre Temple – Shaxi Yunnan China

 

Performers at the Shaxi Singing Festival - Shibaoshan Shaxi Yunnan China (photo Kevin Kelly)

Traditionally dressed performers at the Shaxi Singing Festival – Shibaoshan Shaxi Yunnan China

 

Yi women in traditional dress at the Shaxi Singing Festival - Shibaoshan Yunnan China

Yi women in traditional dress at the Shaxi Singing Festival – Shibaoshan Yunnan China

 

 

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