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Zhangjiagang residents feast on Yangtze River folk culture

The opening dance Tiger-head Shoes is performed by a dancing troupe from Nanfeng town at the Yangtze River Folk and Art Exhibition Tour on Nov 1. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The Yangtze River Folk and Art Exhibition Tour hit the stage in Zhangjiagang's Nanfeng town on Nov 1. More than 500 local residents from 11 villages and four communities got together to enjoy a spectacular folk and art performance.

The show opened with the cheerful peep of a flute, before a group of local women in bright pink dresses marched onto the stage carrying a small wooden bench.

The aunties proceeded to pretend to make "tiger-head shoes", a traditional style of shoe so named because the tips of the shoes are said to resemble the head of a tiger.

The group performing the opening "tiger-head shoe" dance was Nanfeng Town Dance Troupe, who said the performance was designed to encourage children to learn about their cultural heritage.

"We have practiced the show for nearly one month, and you cannot imagine the weight of the bench can reach three kilograms! My arm is still aching," said Zhu Weihua, a 47-year-old dancer from Nanfeng town.

Other folk performances in the 60-minute show included a Hunan dance, Sichuan folk song, Tibet folk song and Qinghai dance.

"I was totally shocked, from the dress to the music that was full of strong traditional customs—it is refreshing," said one audience member after watching the show.

The tour continued with performance in Jingang town, Jinfeng town, Daxin town and Tangqiao town on Nov 1-2 to provide local residents with a chance to appreciate folk culture in different characteristics and further enrich the lives of local communities.

Dancers enjoy their performance on the stage. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Singers perform a folk song during the Yangtze River Folk and Art Exhibition Tour in Zhangjiagang. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]