standing woman wearing a long robe with very long sleeves; woman holds her hands up in front of her shoulders; straight hair pulled back into a low ponytail; cloth-covered mount

Female "Long Sleeve" Dancer, 2nd century BCE

Unknown artist, expand_more

Earthenwareexpand_more

Gift of Ruth and Bruce Daytonexpand_more  2000.87.1

Many types of pottery dancing figures have been retrieved from Han tombs, but examples of this large size with finely sculpted naturalistic details, are relatively rare. The performance of ritual dance during Han was a court prerogative, and the number of dancers permitted to each noble was regulated according to his rank and merit. This thin elegant dancer is dressed in the traditional shen yi garment; long and layered robes with oversized sleeves. She captures the stately motion and austere spirit of the "sleeve-tossing dance" style (chang xiu wu) which featured a continuous, controlled and coordinated movement of the long sleeves. The Han dynasty writer Zhang Hong (78-139) described this dance form in one of his poems: Their vermilion slippers danced between plates and goblets And they waved their long, dangling sleeves With a curvaceous, cultivated bearing Their lovely dresses fluttered like flowers in the wind.

Details
Title
Female "Long Sleeve" Dancer
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2000.87.1
Curator Approved

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standing woman wearing a long robe with very long sleeves; woman holds her hands up in front of her shoulders; straight hair pulled back into a low ponytail; cloth-covered mount