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CHINESE THEATRE AND DANCES.. 19l
.aces had six dances of six performers, thirty-six in all; and thus through all the upper ranks, literary doctors being allowed only two dances of two performers each. Only certain instruments were allowed as accompaniment, and the direction of the whole was always to be in charge of various musical doctors. There also existed dances which were called "little dances," as they were taught to children at a tender age; the names of some of these are interesting; "the Dance of the Flag,'* danced in Konor of the spirits of earth and the harvests, so called because the dancers waved small banners; "The Dance of the Plumes," in honor of the spirits of the four quarters of the world, in which the young dancers carried a plume of white feathers, attached to a short stick; " The Dance of the Foang-hoang," which was danced to induce the assistance of the mysterious bird (already described) in times of drought, and in which the dancers held plumes of feathers of five colors; "the Dance of the Ox Tail," in which each dancer swings an ox tail; "The Dance of Javelins," where this weapon was brandished in honor of river and mountain spirits; and finally, " the Dance of Man," in which ihe hands were quite free, no accessories being used.
The " Javelin Dance," was not altogether pleasing to the great philosopher Confucius. He condemns it as being too war-like, and the gestures accompanying it, as too savage; as a whole he thought it liable to inspire cruel sentiments. He preferred the " Dance of the Plumes." as contain-






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III