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Wenzhou’s group dance “A Drumroll for Homecoming Boats” makes its debut on CCTV
Date:2023-01-16 17:05:47 Source:Wenzhou·China Fonts:[ Large Medium Small ]

The performance of “A Drumroll for Homecoming Boats” on CCTV.

The sound of drums and waves is heard as women are dancing by the sea on a moonlit night to welcome their families returning home from the sea fully loaded...On the evening of January 8, 2023, the group dance “A Drumroll for Homecoming Boats”  performed by Wenzhou Cultural Center was staged in the variety show, “I Want to Perform in 2022 Spring Festival Gala”, of CCTV-3 Entertainment Channel. This was the second time that the performance, also the winner of the 19th Qunxing Award in 2022, has been brought in front of the audience of the entire country.

The group dance is inspired by the “foot-beating drum”, an intangible cultural heritage item originating in Dongtou district of Wenzhou, East China’s Zhejiang province. From early 2018 to May 2022, the production team went through initial rehearsal and rounds of editions, creating over ten different versions. A total of 23 Wenzhouese working in the public cultural sector and amateur Wenzhouese dancers were recruited by Wenzhou Cultural Center as performers, and the cast has changed five times.

Since its first rehearsal, the group dance has won the “Qunxing Award” of Zhejiang province in 2019 and the Gold Award in Zhejiang Public Dance Competition in 2018, and was subsidized by China National Arts Fund (CNAF) in 2020 and Zhejiang Arts Development Fund in 2019, not to mention the national level “Qunxing Award”, China’s highest honor for amateur performers and community culture, it received. Widely recognized by art experts, the dance performance features brand-new moves, costumes and stage props rarely seen in traditional folk dance, as well as a combination of “drum” and “dance”. Moreover, the culture of Dongtou Island incorporated into the performance has distinguished itself from other ones, which sets a good example for the artistic creation and innovation of traditional culture to further carry forward the spirit of the times.

According to Wang Peng, the main producer and choreographer, “A Drumroll for Homecoming Boats” is an upgraded version of the group dance “Foot-beating Drum”. The original aspiration of the performance is to bring the charm of intangible cultural heritage to the audience through the combination of folk culture and passionate dance performance. The opportunity of performing on CCTV came as the troupe wished to promote Wenzhou as the city of singing and dancing and perform Wenzhou’s stories on a national stage. This time, the troupe left Wenzhou in East China’s Zhejiang province for Beijing in North China on November 14, 2022, and attended the rehearsal that night. On the very next day, they returned to Wenzhou as soon as the recording was finished. The entire team thought it was worth their while despite the long journey and tight schedule.

During the show, the hosts Nigemaiti Reheman, Li Ding and Bai Kainan had interesting interactions with the dancers. Their humorous and witty conversations have shown the aspiration of the performance and enabled the audience to gain a deeper understanding of the “foot-beating drum” and the choreography of the performance.

“Happy Chinese New Year – I Want to Perform in the Spring Festival Gala” is a classic variety show on CCTV. This year, the show is presented in a different way by highlighting “performance” as the core element and setting high standards to offer the audience a visual and acoustic feast with high-quality performances of major troupes in China.