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Fan dance & women's writing 

August 27th,2023

Performer : Qian, Yaqi, Biyuan, Yinfu

Workshop by : Yinfu

workshop concept 

Fan is the extension of our dancing body. In Chinese culture, fan is usually combined with Chinese Xiqu, martial arts and classical dance movements. When we move our bodies, the fan follows and generates beautiful images. In Chinese Xiqu, the fan choreography and skills are created to represent female images. By learning these movements, we could go into the life experience from women in the past. More importantly, through the skills, we slowly find out our own body movements and the way we want to dance with fans.


Also, fan is an extension of our mind. By drawing and writing on the fan, we express our thinking and feelings. The cultural heritage Nüshu ‘female script’ is a language invented by women who lived in Hunan province in China. JiXianlin, the late historian and linguist, once said that Nüshu is a feminist symbol since it was “created by talented women who were deprived of the right to education.”

women wrote  Nüshu on the fan and also read the fan from female friends. By exchanging the folding fans, two women could secretly communicate their feelings. Fan becomes a free space for women to share happiness and sadness under the eyes of men and the frame of patriarchal society. 


Fan is a media, a symbol, a connection. What I really want to do is to use fan as a tool to express our body and feelings.

workshop schedule

1, intro : 

observe and try out different fans, talk about the history of fan dance and what’s the situation of using fans in daily life and artworks. Ask the questions : what are the fans made of ? How to open & close it ? What is the shape of a fan ? When do you use a fan ?


2, warm-up : hands, body, breath


3, Have Fan(Fun)

Game 1 : 

Take a guess about the situation/expressions of three fan choreography. 

Game 2 : 

Each participant learns one fan skill, they show the movement when encountering each other, then teach each other this skill. 

Game 3 : 

Participants stand in a line, the first one (A) picks up one favorite fan and  invents a fan movement and teaches the next person (B), B teaches C, C teaches D. At the end, A and D do the movements together.


4, Learning skills and choreography


Participants learn a choreography combination of folding fan/silk fan 


5, Create own fan choreography


Participants pick up one favorite fan and have some time to explore their own fan movements. By combining 3-5 movements, participants create their own choreography. 

We play the music and shoot a video of participants dancing with their own choreography.


6, Writing on fan and reflecting about own body 


We will do feedback about the workshop and talk/write about our own feelings of body through the process on fan or paper.

cooperated with Queer Squad
in AmkA Frankfurt

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