Folklore > China > Nuo Dance - Chinese Traditional Rituals and Performances

 Apr 25 2023  

With more than one hundred dancing troupes at its most prosperous era, Nuo Dance has a long history and once widely spread with strong religious and artistic characteristics. In 2006, Nanfeng Nuo Dance was listed as Chinese national intangible cultural heritage. Shiyou is a village in Nanfeng County, where the Nuo Dance maintains its ancient style with the most traditional features. The inheritor Ye Genming introduced that Shiyou Nuo Dance is divided into four steps. The Starting Nuo is on Chinese New Year's Eve. Then Dancing Nuo will last for 16 days. Searching Nuo and Concluding Nuo are on the night of the 16th day of the first lunar month. Nowadays Shiyou Nuo Dance has a total of 11 masks and 8 performances, such as “Kai Shan”, “Paper Money”, “Thunder God”, and so on. Nuo masks are an important component of Nuo culture. Nuo masks are usually made of willow wood or camphor wood. After elaborately carved and painted, each mask is endowed with a rich expression and bright character. After a long period of development and innovation, Nuo Dance has gradually evolved into a folk dance with diverse styles. As an ancient folk art, it has both functions of sacrifice and entertainment, symbolizing people's expectations for a better life.