Shenchuan Reba Dance in Tacheng Town of Weixi County, Diqing
Shenchuan Reba Dance(神川热巴舞) is the rutial dance of Lisu Ethnic Minority. It reflects the Lisu people’s cultural and religion. It is one of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Yunnan.
In Tacheng Town (塔城镇)of Lisu Autonomous County of Weixi(维西傈僳族自治县), there is an ancient ritual song and dance , Reba(热巴). Tacheng town is famous for its song and dance. In ancient times, Tacheng Town was called Lapu(喇普), which means Shenchuan(神川) in Tibetan language. Therefore, someone are also called Tacheng Reba(塔城热巴) as Shengchuan Reba(神川热巴). Tacheng Shenchuan Reba(塔城神川热巴) is a classical dance type, with unique style and long history. It is a large-scale collective dance composed of song, dance, monologue, etc. accompanied by drum beating. It belongs to the orthodox classical Reba and is unique in the China.
The Unique Dance
Unlike other folk songs and dances that can be sung and danced at any time, Shengchuan Reba is to worship god and pray for the purpose of the performance. Before the performance, there should be a period of time to prepare for all aspects of the dance, and the date of the performance must be chosen. What’s more, there are some sacrificial rites before the performance, which formed a traditional set of performance customs. Before the performance, a sacrificial ceremony to greet the gods will be held. During the performance, under the command of the leading dancer, the performers beating drums at the same tame, while the female dancers are beating the sun and moon drums(日月彩鼓), gently moving, their steps are graceful, dignified, sacred and solemn; while the male dancers are waving rattle-drums(拨浪鼓), yak tails(牦牛尾), and dancing vigorously and steadily.
In ancient times, the temples built by gods were destroyed by demons and ghosts at night. After a long time of reconstruction, they could not be built. Finally, a god was asked to create Reba, and several handsome men and beautiful women were asked to jump all night on the construction site to stop the destruction of ghosts. Finally, the temple was built. So, Reba became a folk dance of sacrifice, worship and pray.