Tang Dynasty Style Cultural Revue

Xi'an, China

In major tourism cities like Xi'an, there are several venues where visitors can attend cultural performances of music, song, and dance that are loosely based on various periods from China's history. The Tang-themed performance seen here is a fairly typical example. Its costumes are authentic, since there is abundant pictorial evidence (from tomb furnishings, murals, etc.) upon which their designs can be based. The orchestra and instruments are also authentic, because the traditions of making them never quite died out, although they came perilously close to being extinguished during the Cultural Revolution. The music and dance, however, are modern interpretations, because little musical notation (at most, a few very old melodies) and no choreography (other than might be inferred from the pictorial evidence mentioned above) has survived from so long ago.