On the afternoon of May 19, the Master Class of the 1st World Theatre Education Convention was held at the Theatre Centre of the Central Academy of Drama. Prof. Shen Peiyi, Director of the Department of Dance Theatre, conducted a lecture themed as “The Form and Soul of Chinese Classic Dance’ Postures 2014”.
First, Prof. Shen introduced the evolution of Chinese Classical Dance. Professionals of this genre of dance had learned from Chinese Xiqu in the 1950s, and used the techniques of Martial arts for reference. In the 1980s, the Chinese term of “posture” had been changed from “shen duan (身段)” to “shen yun (身韵)” to distinguish this genre from others. Ever since then, Chinese Classical Dance has become an independent genre.
During the lecture, the teachers and students of the Academy demonstrated typical postures. Prof. Shen elaborated on the distinctive movements of the genre, including individual ones and sets, before she invited the audience to try the movements themselves. Then, she focused on the three main streams of the genre and their characteristics. Finally, she introduced the Classical Dance in Han and Tang dynasties. When the whim came, Prof. Shen occasionally danced for the audience to express her ideas. At the end of the lecture, Prof. Shen hoped that Chinese Classical Dance can comfort every soul, and suggested the audience that they should slow down the pace to feel the gracefulness, beauty and the optimistic message of the genre.