Hair dancing is very popular in various types of opera dramas, especially the Peking opera.Hair dancing, a classic movement involving whipping the hair, is often used to express various mental states such as anger, panic, insanity, despair, pain and struggle etc. Different hairstyles in the opera drama are created and beautified on the basis of ancient people’s dress and adornments. In the drama, Dan, Clean and Ugly are all wearing wigs with varying lengths of either 2 feet 2 inches or 1 foot 5 inches.
The following is the construction method of the hair used for hair dancing. Tie together a bunch of hair, fastening the tie about two inches from the hair tip. Attach the end of the hair to a round cap of about two and a half inches. Finally, makeup is applied and the completed wig is ready to be worn.
The most famous hair dancing artists are Wang Xiaonong and Zhou XinFang. For example, in one of Master Wang’s performances, he plays the role of Chongzhen Emperor, the last one in Ming Dynasty. During this time, the whole country is going to be conquered by Li Zicheng(the late Ming dynasty peasant uprising leader). Master Wang portrays most vividly Chongzhen Emperor’s desperate and panic mood by whipping the hair upright the head and sweeping it back to cover the face like an umbrella. Master Zhou’s best card is to combine the hair dancing with whisker whipping. When hair turns right, whiskers can be whipped towards left. Natural, unrestrained and skilled, we can acclaim it as the peak of perfection.
It is critical for hair dancing to be quick, neat and fluid. These three words are easy to say but hard to realize. Hair dancing differs from sword, spear, fan and peacock feathers. It is hard to balance the strength required to whip the hair. Ordinarily, It will be either dazzling or drifting with improper strength displayed. Actors primarily use the head and neck to control and adjust the hair. If an individual uses the hand to adjust the hair, he is not well skilled and the performance will not satisfy the audience.
The hair dancing is one of the most important dramatic movements with artistic aesthetic feeling. When I was a little girl, I attempted to tie a tower to my head to practice hair dancing because of curiosity, but I never succeeded. Gradually, I learned from Peking Opera the key is to rotate the head in one direction quickly and use the neck as an axel. Only in this way, can the hair be whipped excellently with the inertia effect. Common hair dancing include movements like whipping, raising, rushing, rotating, flashing etc., in many different directions such as left, right, forwards, backwards and round.
Extended Reading: long hair extensions