One aspect of modern life in mainland China is that almost every public space is taken over by the brigades of dancing grannies — that is by older women (40s-70s) who are participating in what’s called “square dancing”. Square dancing, to an American’s ears, involves fiddles, cowboy boots, gingham, hay bales and a man with a twang exhorting us to “swing your partner, do-se-do!”
Square dancing in China means dancing, in a public square. Dancing in this context can mean ballroom dancing, or just performing dance-y types of movements in line with other participants. Generally, there is some over-amplified (but tinny) music involved. Wikipedia reports that about 100 million people participate in this, frequently in the evenings. As an urban phenomenon, it seems to have evolved a lot from the time when so many young people were “sent-down” to the countryside and were exposed to both propaganda dancing and the overriding concept of collective activities. (This is not the same as the large public dances I’ve seen last year in the main square in KangDing, which is Tibetan folk dancing.)
But occasionally, people gather in public squares for other reasons, like these juggling grannies outside Computer City!