Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Stilt Performers at Nanhui Peach Blossom Village.


Stilt walking is a centuries old performance art form in China; more traditional in the northern part of the country than in the south. Typically, performances take place in conjunction with the Spring Festival aka Chinese New Year but on occasion, if you are lucky, you'll catch a performance. It was our lucky day when we were in Shanghai. It was the time of the annual Peach Blossom and we had made our way to the Nanhui Peach Blossom Village on the outskirts of town. We were strolling around the gardens when we heard the sound of music. We followed our ears and saw the performers so we sat and watched for a few minutes.

I found a spot, on a retaining wall, to sit down on and watch the performance. I had the perfect front row view.


Just so happened I was also sitting next to a couple of the performers.  


It was fascinating watching them get upright from their sitting position.  I cannot imagine that this is an easy thing to do but obviously, these are trained performers.  You would need a crane to hoist me up! 😁



With the music playing in the background, a young girl got into her own ribbon dance performance.  She was too cute for words.


Stilt performances often tell age old, classic tales. I have no idea what this one is. Watching the performers, you can admire their skill - it's not easy prancing around and doing acrobatics on stilts!












She's spinning a square shaped piece of cloth, while standing on stilts!



The performance lasted for about 20 minutes.  Before leaving the area, I hung around to watch one of the performers removing his stilts.  I was surprised at just how basic the whole set up is.  Truly nothing fancy here.  The stilt is divided into two sections.  The lower section is a larger circumference pole that terminates in a rubber stopper at one end.  At the other end is a small platform part where the performer places his foot.  The upper section of the stilt is a flat shaped pole.


Using a simple strip of cloth, his leg was then tied to upper section of the stilt.


After the performance, we made our way around the rest of Nanhui Peach Blossom Village.  Watching the stilt performers was a nice *intermission* of sorts for us and it made me wonder whether or not there would be any other performances taking place in the park so as we strolled along, I kept my eyes and ears opened wide to spot for any other interesting activities that could be taking place.