Zhong Tianzhen – Inheritor of Yi Hulusheng Dance in Xichou County, Wenshan 

Individual Profile

ZhongTianzhen(钟天珍),who belongs to a branch of Yi ethnic minority — Hualuo (花倮), born in 1946 in Manlong village(曼竜村), Haizi village committee(海子村委会), Jijie township(鸡街乡), Xichou county(西畴县), Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, the inheritor of Yi Hulusheng Dance(彝族葫芦笙舞). The Hulusheng Dance is a folk dance loved by the Yi people in Xichou county, which has a long history and rich cultural connotation.


Influenced by her family and older generations of artists, Zhong Tianzhen began to learn Hulusheng Dance with her mother since she was 12 years old. She soon learned many kinds of folk dances, and became an influential local folk dancer. Every time from the first to the third day of the first lunar month, and the “Qiaocai Festival”(荞菜节), she would lead the villagers in Manlong village to dance and sing folk songs. The movement of Hulusheng Dance is simple and lively, and the rhythm is similar to disco dance, so it is praised as “Chinese disco” by the famous dancer Dai Ailian(戴爱莲).


Under her guidance and influence, all the women in the village will dance Lusheng and Xianzi Dance.
Zhong Tianzhen, as the backbone of art in the village, has been transferred to prefecture and counties for many times to take part in large-scale art activities and performances, and is often interviewed by relevant experts, scholars and journalists. Zhong Tianzhen is also an expert in Yi costume making and is loved by local Yi people.
In 1999, he was named “Folk Arts and Crafts Artist”(民间工艺美术师) by Yunnan Provincial Department of Culture(云南省文化厅).


Translated by Bella Ren/任新月