Departure from Xian and drive all the way north for about 4 hours, you will meet Ansai District which lies in north part of Yanan City. When a huge waist drum comes onto your sight, you will be here!
Most area has its local opera, but North Shaanxi is different, it has its both folk songs and folk dance – Northern shaanxi folk songs, and waist drum. And Ansai is regarded as Home Town of Waist Drum.
Ansai Waist Drum has a history of over 2000 years, the dance can be done by either several people or as many as thousands of people. In the earliest time, the waist drum was used in battle – when troops find enemy, they beat drum to deliver message; when troops fight against enemy, they beat drum to cheer soldiers; when troops win a battle, they beat to congratulate. As time goes by, that military dance gradually performed by common people during festival or ceremony. Though the waist drum dance’s function changes, the perform method was carried on from generation to generation. Till today it remains the dance way in 2000 years ago. Its most distinctive feature is being strong and heroic, the most impressive female characteristic of natives. In 2006, Ansai Waist Drum was listed as Chinese National intangible cultural heritage.
Each year during Chinese Spring Festival, lots of villages in Ansai District organize the waist drum dance to celebrate Chinese New Year, they dance on stage, on public square, on road, and in farmer’s home courtyard. That makes the new year more festive. And in local tradition, cheerful waist drum dance could bring people good luck.
You may have watched waist drum dance many times on TV or in theater, but you’ll never known how the waist drum dance shocking unless you watch it performed on loess plateau, the birth place of waist drum dance. The grand background, the special landscape, the simple local dancers, and the floating dust created by dancers. Watching a open air waist drum dance in Ansai would totally be a life time memory.