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A waltz of joy as dance festival steps into town

Updated: 2013-08-07 10:23
By Yan Weijue (

A dance festival lasting three days has waltzed into Luqu county in Northwest China's Gansu province, on Tuesday, lifting the sprits of both humans and livestock in the herding-dominated county.

Guozhuang Dance, in Tibetan language, means singing and dancing in a circle. Male and female dancers, usually equal in number, shake their legs and arms to the beat of antiphonal music.

A waltz of joy as dance festival steps into town

Dancers perform Guozhuang Dance at the opening ceremony of the Second Luqu Guozhuang Dance Contest on Aug 6, 2013. [Photo by Yan Weijue/]

The dance contest is held by Luqu county where 88.3 percent of its people are Tibetan and the event is part of the celebration of the traditional Xianglang festival and the 60th anniversary of the Gannan Tibetan autonomous prefecture in the province, said Liang Mingguang, Party Secretary of the county, at the opening ceremony on Tuesday morning.

It is the second straight year for Luqu to host the contest, which has gained more popularity as 22 teams consisting of more than 1,600 Tibetan dancers from Qinghai, Tibet and Gansu are squaring off for a showdown, according to Drolma Jia, general director of the event.

And a shot at the sizeable price money. The winners take home 150,000 yuan. Second place wins 100,000 yuan and 50,000 for third.

The contest is expected to lure tens of thousands of visitors outside Luqu, many of who have pitched a tent next to the competition field or at the foot of nearby hills. As many as 3,000 spectators swarmed to the opening ceremony on Tuesday morning, a security guard told China Daily.

Gong Baoji, for example, a 22-year-old Tibetan girl, took half an hour's ride from the Langmusi township to Luqu on Monday night in order to make the opening ceremony and linger through contest in the next three days.

"I love Guozhuang Dance simply because watching it makes me happy," said Gong.

Her sentiment is echoed by Dawa, a rookie contestant from Erdi village in Shuangcha township. He just graduated from college.

"The preparation for the contest started two months ago. But we really don't need to put in too much practice as we've kind of known it for so long," he said.

Hosting the Guozhuang Dance will benefit the county and its people at the same time, according to Zhuomajia.

"It not only enriches the lives of the people, but also boosts the tourism in Luqu and activate relative industries such as catering and accommodation," he said.

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