|A number of Uygur folk dances are performed with props,
such as Plate Dance, Sapayi Dance and Stone-Beating Dance.
The dances are widely popular, but since high skill is required, they are performed mostly by professional or veteran amateur artists.|
The Plate Dance originated in ancient Kucha and is popular in Urumqi, Ili, Kashi and other cities and towns. The dancer puts a bowl on his head and beats a small plate in
his hand with a chopstick while performing various movements. The steps are basically Sanam steps.
Arms are horizontal or one hand is placed on the head
or at the side with the other on the chest.
Sapayi is a folk instrument of the Uygur nationality. Two iron rings are attached to a 0.5-metre-long oval wooden stick covered on one end with tin. The dancer holds the stick in his right hand and strikes the tin end against his right shoulder or waves it back and forth so the iron rings produce a wonderful sound. A dance for men, Sapayi is popular in areas of southern Xinjiang.
The steps of the Sapayi Dance include three steps and lifting one foot, steps back and forth on toe, and squatting on one leg. Its tempo and movements become very fast on specially joyous occasions, so the movements must be sharp and in tempo.
Stone-Beating Dance is named for another Uygur folk instrument. The dancer holds two stones in each hand and claps them to produce clear sounds while he stretches and bends his fingers and shakes his wrists. It is a man's dance, popular in Aksu, Kashi, Shache and Hotien in southern Xinjiang. The basic movements are those of Sanam. Stones are also used as percussion instruments for accompaniment. As the music changes and the tempo becomes complex, the dancer changes his way of beating the stones.