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Guangdong's Yingge Dance comes on stage at London's Trafalgar Square

On Feb. 11, the second day of the Chinese New Year, the "Chinese Gala Celebration" was held at the Trafalgar Square in London, which provided a close contact for the UK's residents with the Chinese culture.

It is estimated that over 700 thousand people participated in the celebration.

The audience enjoyed not only the traditional lion dance at the Trafalgar Square, but also Yingge dance given by a team from Jieyang, Guangdong Province.

Yingge dance, literally the Songs of Heroes dance in Chinese, is a traditional folk dance that originated from the Chaoshan area of Guangdong Province in southern China. Based on the stories of the 108 heroes of Liangshan Mountain from the classic novel Outlaws of the Marsh, Yingge combines elements of opera, dance and martial arts.

As the dance is usually performed during festivals and celebrations, dancers tend to wear colorful costumes and carry props such as masks, snakes, spears and drums as they perform acrobatic moves and stunts.

Chen Laifa, coach of the dance team, hoped that Yingge Dance can be shown to the world through the performance in the UK. "The team have practiced for over a month before the performance and many of them have more than 15 years of performance experience," he said.

Before showcasing on the stage at Trafalgar Square, the dance team gave performance at Burlington Arcade on Feb.10, which attracted many local residents.

It is not the first time that Yingge dance was presented in foreign countries. A Yingge dance team once brought their performance to Thailand and shared experience with Yingge dancers there.

In recent years, celebration of the Spring Festival has been heating up in foreign countries. "Spring Festival Parades" are held in several countries each year, such as the UK, Russia and the US, to celebrate the arrival of the Chinese New Year.

At present, nearly 20 countries around the world have set the Spring Festival as a public holiday and nearly 1/5 people worldwide will celebrate the Chinese New Year in different styles.

Author | Steven Yuen

Video | Qin Shaolong, Ou Xiaoming

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