dancing grannies

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!

20150627_200506 20150627_200518 20150627_200559 20150627_200608



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s