Updated: Aug 18, 2019
The dance performance Peacocks in Love by renowned dancer Yang Liping and her new partner, Wang Di, in CCTV's New Year's Gala, proved itself an instant hit. The ethereal pas de deux portraying a love affair between two peacocks impressed the usually discerning audiences for the annual big show in high definition and with wide broadcast coverage in China and even throughout the world where overseas Chinese live.
The Peacock Princess
ang Liping is a household name in China. For more than 30 years, she has been portraying herself as a peacock on stage and won many prestigious awards for her peacock dance, so much so she has been dubbed China's Peacock Princess.
Her success was not easy to come by.
Born in a Bai ethnic group family about 53 years ago, Yang grew up in a family where the parents divorced. She began to help her mother support the whole family at an early age. Besides farming chores such as raising sheep and cattle, she had to look after her younger sisters and brothers. Dancing was the only way she could express her feelings, whether happy or sad. Like other children her age, Yang enjoyed dancing barefoot in her spare time.
Soon, villagers found the girl was gifted as a dancer and expected her to grow up to be the village "bimo," a witch who danced and chanted spells to expel evil spirits. But when she was 12 years old, Yang was recruited by a local performance troupe in the Xishuangbanna Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province.