Chinese Dance: In the Vast Land and Beyond is designed to engage dance as a uniquely qualified resource for cross-cultural learning. With our multimedia project we hope to sidestep the Western penchant for seeing the educational value of arts in general—and dance in particular—as limited to the artistic fields themselves. The materials provided in the book and on this website are designed to be complementary, and readers/viewers are encouraged to explore tangents that might be revealed as they travel through the entire resource. The sections of this website are described below. More materials will be added as the site is developed.

Chinese Dance: In the Vast Land & Beyond
Chinese Dance: In the Vast Land & Beyond


The Photogene: Shih-Ming’s Journey

This section gives an annotated photographic overview of the people and places that Shih-Ming encountered during her research journeys to mainland China. Some of the photos also have links to short videos of the dances described.


While the book creates a broad canvas against which Chinese dance can be viewed with clarity, the annotated database on this website brings the dances themselves into view. Chinese dance videos abound, but the titles and accompanying notes (if any) are often in Chinese and therefore not accessible to English speakers. When videos are documented in English, the accuracy of the text is sometimes questionable. We have developed the database to provide as much accurate information as possible about the listed items, in a consistent manner.  A more detailed introduction to the database can be found in that section.

The current tables are as follow:
Han Dance
Minorities Dance
Wuju/Dance Dramas
Children’s Dance
Chinese Opera

Please email selliott@wesleyan.edu if you have trouble accessing the database.

Useful terminology and names


Our multimedia resource is an on-going interactive project, and your feedback is most welcome.  We hope that the website will develop into a place where the cross-cultural dynamics of Chinese dance can be explored and discussed in a wide-ranging manner.  Please feel free to contact us with any ideas, questions, suggestions or materials that you wish to share. In particular, we hope to expand the database with additional links to online videos, and to ensure that the existing links remain active. If you find any failing links, just let us know so we can update things accordingly.