The Twelve Muqams opera
However, Xinjiang singers and dancers never become narcissistic and ever think their performance is only for their own entertainment. They are always willing to share happiness with people from elsewhere.
In the meantime, outsiders also get to know about Xinjiang people’s characters by means of appreciating their songs and dances. The singing and dancing is like a special language that can reach beyond ethnic boundaries.
The popularity of Xinjiang songs and dances is tremendous and far-reaching. Quite a few Xinjiang songs have become international. Lots of Xinjiang instruments are adopted by other ethnic groups. Many major instruments that are wildly played all over China originated from Xinjiang, such as the Erhu, or two-stringed Chinese fiddle, the Pipa, or Chinese lute, and the flute.
Xinjiang dances have their unique skills. It can be hard to learn because the “dancing languages” there are too many.
Xinjiang dances are also exciting and buoyant, making the viewers feel like on fire.
Each kind of Xinjiang dances has it special connotation. Dances titled “Sainaim”, “Xiadiyana”, “Sama”, “Nazierkon” and “Milisi” are for self-entertaining. “Laipaier” and “Stilts Dance” are better in public performance. “Alamote” is one of the competitive dances, in which the dancers have to hold a coin, a handkerchief or a flower on their lips. And sometimes dancers imitate animals or dance with a stage property, such as a wooden scoop or a pile of bows and sauces.
Xinjiang songs are straight forward and right to the point. For example, quite many love songs are titled after the name of whom they’re dedicated to, such as the “Awaguli”, a folk song from Yili, “Alamuhan” from Urumqi, “Mayila” from Altay, and the famous “A Girl from Daban City”.
Many classic Chinese folk songs come from Xinjiang, like “What a Lovely Rose”, “Half a Moon Rises Up”, “Please Unveil” and “Youth Dance”.
And many other songs are inspired by Xinjiang music, such as “Belle Xinjiang”, “Why Flowers Are So Red”, “Grapes Have Ripened in Turpan” and “A Night on the Grassland”.
The “dance queen” Kangba’erhan and the “Ballad King” Wang Luobin both owe their outstanding achievements to their Xinjiang origins.
Xinjiang owns the biggest number of singing and dancing troupes in China. There are plenty of professional singers and dancers, but there are more average people who can sing and dance like professionals. Xinjiang people are born with singing and dancing genes. They can do both well without receiving any training.
The singing and dancing in Xinjiang is the most touching part of the local culture.
You can not find out the gist of Xinjiang singing and dancing without going to a live show.
Sitting under grape trees, or being a guest in a local yurt, you can listen to wonderful performance of strange instruments – “rewapu”, “sataer”, “tanbuer”, “dutaer” and “aijieke” of the Uygur people; “dongbula”, “kubuzi” and “sibuzie” of the Kazak people; “Kumuzi”, “keyake” and “queaoer” of the Kirgiz people; “tuobuxiuer”, “yikele” and “chuwuer” of the Mongolian people; “saiyitu’er” and the Eagle Bone Flute of the Tajik people, “sanxian” and “xihu” of the Xibe people; guitar of the Ozbeks; Tartar people’s Mandolin; and the accordion of Russian ethnic group.
You can take some time visiting elderly folk singers, who will sing epics and folktales for you.
You can also join the hilarious groups of dancers and singers sharing their joy.
There are also the famous Uygur singer Daolang, the wonderful Tajik mountain ballads, the hand drum with a thousand different beats, and Kirgiz players who play Pipa reversely.
Go to Xinjiang. Drown yourself in magnificent singing and dancing.