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Taizhou art troupe enthralls Russians with traditional dance

etaizhou.gov.cn| Updated: July 9, 2024

This year marks the 75th anniversary of China-Russia diplomatic relations and the inaugural China-Russia Year of Culture.

As a significant milestone, the Gunlianxiang Art Troupe from the Jiangyan district of Taizhou city – located in East China’s Jiangsu province – was recently invited by the Khabarovsk State Institute of Culture and Arts in Russia to participate in cultural exchange activities.

Most notably, the Chinese troupe was the only foreign performance group to receive such an invitation.


The Gunlianxiang dance is a traditional folk dance from Jiangyan district with a history of over 200 years. In 2009, the dance was recognized as an intangible cultural heritage of Jiangsu province. [Photo/WeChat account: jyrmzf]

The Gunlianxiang Art Troupe, whose performance style is characterized by dancers tapping their bodies and the ground with colorfully decorated bamboo sticks, captivated the Russian audience. A local spectator remarked on the unforgettable fusion of Gunlianxiang dance with Russian dance music, highlighting the cross-cultural appeal of the performance.


Performers from the art troupe hang out with a local Russian actress. [Photo/WeChat account: jyrmzf]

The connection between Jiangyan district and Russia began in the summer of 2023. Zhang Jin Jun, a sixth-generation inheritor of Gunlianxiang dance, arranged a visit by his son Zhang Peng Xuan – who was studying ballet in Russia and seven of his ballet classmates – to come to Jiangyan to learn about the local dance.

During Spring Festival this year, Zhang Peng Xuan and his classmates performed Gunlianxiang dance at the Khabarovsk Regional Musical Theater, receiving enthusiastic responses and sparking great interest from the institute's leaders. This led to the current cross-border appointment exchanges.

Zhang Jin Jun expressed his excitement about Gunlianxiang dance gaining international recognition. He hoped to continue serving as an ambassador for cultural exchange, promoting and preserving this intangible cultural heritage on a global stage.

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