Bharatanatyam in China

Jin Shan Shan with her students. Image Courtesy: The Hindu

Few years ago an article in The Hindu piqued our interests. It talked about the bharatanatyam dancer Jin Shan Shan, who is spreading the dance form among the Chinese in Beijing.

And last year, the first chinese born Bharatnatyam and Kathak dancer passed away. Her name was Zhang Jun. Her star student is Jin Shan Shan who is continuing the tradition from where Zhang Jun left.

Zhang first visited India as a curious 19-year-old in the early 1950s, when she was encouraged by former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai to study Indian dance and culture and serve as a bridge between the two newly founded young nations.

In the latest edition of The Hindu, the dancer Jin Shan Shan has been featured with a video of her teaching.

Jin (40) is perhaps China’s only professionally-trained Bharatanatyam teacher who has studied extensively in India. She was introduced to Indian dance as long as 25 years ago, when she met the famous Chinese danseuse Zhang Jun.

Too many people in China learn Western ballet and piano,” Jin said. “Chinese people love Bollywood, but they are now also beginning to realise the charm and beauty of Indian classical dance.”

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