SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

4: Dance of the Yi People

Composed by: Wang Huiran (1964)

Arranged by: Cheng Yu

Originally composed for the four-stringed pipa, recognising there are as yet no solo compositions for the five-stringed pipa, Cheng Yu rearranged 'Dance of the Yi People' to showcase the new instruments potential.

This is a popular piece typical of the 1960s, breaking away from the more traditional styles of wen (civil; gentle and lyrical), wu (martial; powerful and dramatic), da (long suite), and xiao (solo pieces, short) to depict a romantic vision of joyful young dancers during the annual torch festival of the southwestern Chinese Yi Minority.