From the "Luoshui Neon Clothes" costume restoration show held by the Luoyang Museum during the National Day of 2020, relying on the collection of cultural relics to restore 25 sets of ancient costumes, to the 2021 Henan Satellite TV Spring Festival Gala, which was inspired by the dance of 13 three-colored music and dance figures of the Sui Dynasty in the Henan Museum. Tang Palace Night Banquet"; from the dance poem "Only Blue and Green" based on the Song Dynasty painter Wang Ximeng's "A Thousand Miles of Rivers and Mountains", to CCTV's "Ancient Rhyme, New Voices, Qingming" special program, which originated from the Sui Dynasty painter Zhan Ziqian's "Spring Tour" The dance "You Spring"...

  Literary and artistic works that seek artistic genes and creative inspiration from the excellent traditional Chinese culture continue to emerge, and one stage performance art work "breaks the circle" and is brilliant.

One of the masterpieces is the live-action dance "Dragon Gate King Kong", which is produced by Henan Satellite TV for the Qixi Festival in 2021.

Ji Letian, holding a musical instrument, flew out of the cave and danced gracefully under the watchful eye of the big Buddha.

Artists endow traditional cultural relics with artistic charm that transcends history.

The ancient style of Yuyun dance art complements the long history and culture of Longmen Grottoes, and deeply interprets and interprets the essence and profound meaning of "culture + tourism".

Music and Dance in Contemporary Vision

  Static cultural relics are presented dynamically, giving traditional cultural relics fresh vitality.

The Longmen Grottoes Research Institute took the lead in an attempt to "revitalize cultural relics".

Through close cooperation with Xinhua News Agency, a live-action version of the "Emperor and Empress Ritual Buddha" was released in April 2021.

"Emperor and Empress Respecting Buddha" was originally a relief sculpture on the east wall of Binyang Middle Cave of Longmen Grottoes during the Northern Wei Dynasty. The grand scene is an important carving work in the Longmen Grottoes.

The original work was stolen by American antiquities dealers in the 1930s, and the original work has been destroyed. The replicas "Northern Wei Emperor Xiaowen's Respect to Buddha" and "Empress Wenzhao's Respect to Buddha" are now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA, and Nelson A. A., Kansas City, USA. Turkins Museum of Art.

  To revive the cultural relics this time, the researchers and the main creative team of the Longmen Grottoes Research Institute conducted a pair of cultural relics from the actors' costumes, makeup, hair buns, movements and other aspects based on a comprehensive and detailed investigation and research on the "Emperor and Empress's Ritual Buddha Picture". All-round restoration, through novel and flexible shooting methods, the use of new media to present the historical relics of the Longmen Grottoes in a lively manner, enhancing the audience's intimacy with the historical relics of the Longmen Grottoes.

  After this successful attempt, the competent department of Longmen Grottoes has accelerated the pace of launching excellent and innovative works of art in cooperation with relevant media.

The most representative is the dance "Dragon Gate King Kong" in the "Wonderful Tour of Qixi Festival" party launched by Henan Satellite TV on August 13, 2021.

  In "Dragon Gate King Kong", female dancers play the roles of thirteen "Ji Lotian", with graceful shapes, fluttering clothes and belts, and flying in the air.

The localization trend of Longmen Grottoes is obvious. The shape, face, body and clothing of "Ji Letian" and "Ji Leren" are closer to those of women in the secular life of the Tang Dynasty.

At the time of carving, the Feitian sculpture in the Longmen Grottoes is different from the slender and agile image in the Dunhuang murals, and the lower body is slightly fatter.

Although the "Ji Lotian" in the dance of "Dragon Gate King Kong" has many light streamers on his body, his dancing posture is relatively calm, solemn and solemn, which is very consistent with the image of "Ji Lotian".

The hand-held musical instruments of each "Ji Letian" include Ruan, Konghou, pan flute, horizontal flute, sheng, cymbal, and stick drum. There is no rebound shape of Dunhuang Feitian, and the music image of Longmen Grottoes is accurately and truly restored, and the music of ancient my country is reproduced. Activity picture.

  "Dragon Gate King Kong" has also made certain innovations on the basis of restoring history and reappearing tradition.

The first is innovation in clothing styling.

Due to weathering and discoloration of the Longmen Grottoes, it is difficult to verify the exact original color of "Ji Lotian". The program's costume design chose darker and darker traditional Chinese colors such as peony red out of consideration for the beauty of the picture.

In order to facilitate the performance and shape the image, the shape of the King Kong in the dance, compared with the King Kong in the carvings of the Longmen Grottoes, lacks the decoration of the diamond on the body of the carved King Kong.

In addition to shooting in the Longmen Grottoes, the shooting team also used digital technologies such as AR, 3D modeling, and computer coloring to maximize the restoration of the grotto statues in color.

From a contemporary perspective, "Dragon Gate King Kong" injects fresh blood into the traditional music culture of the Longmen Grottoes on the basis of respecting history, so that it can truly "live" in the present.

musical instruments in history

  Bai Juyi, a great poet in the Tang Dynasty, said: "The suburbs of Luodu are the most beautiful in the mountains and rivers, and the head of Longmen is the first." There are 2,345 statue niches and 110,000 statues in the Longmen Grottoes. The statues are three-dimensional and vivid. faded, but there is still plenty of dance music imagery in it.

According to statistics, there are 21 caves with images of musical instruments in the Longmen Grottoes, 1 carved musical instrument scriptures, 2 Buddhist pedestals; 17 kinds of musical instruments and 176 pieces exist.

  The musical instruments in the Longmen Grottoes are divided into three categories: percussion, blowpipe and string strumming.

Percussion instruments include chime, clapboard, cymbal, waist drum, stick drum, chicken drum and so on.

Among them, the chime and the clapper are traditional Chinese percussion instruments, and the cymbals, waist drums, stick drums, and chicken drums are all imported instruments.

There are many images of cymbals and waist drums. The images of cymbals in the caves of the Northern Wei Dynasty and Tang Dynasty appeared 5 times and 12 times respectively; the images of waist drums appeared 10 times and 11 times respectively.

Chime, clapboard, stick drum and chicken drum appear less frequently.

  There are mainly 5 kinds of wind instruments: Sheng, horizontal flute, recorder, pan flute and scorpion. The first four are traditional wind instruments in the Central Plains, and scorpion was introduced from the Western Regions.

The flute appears 30 times in total. The images of the horizontal flute in the caves of the Northern Wei Dynasty and the Tang Dynasty appeared 11 times and 10 times respectively, and the images of the recorder appeared 2 times and 7 times respectively.

The images of panpipes and sheng appeared 22 and 20 times respectively, of which the images of panpipes in the caves of the Northern Wei Dynasty and the Tang Dynasty appeared 9 times and 13 times respectively, and the images of sheng appeared 10 times each.

In the Northern Wei Dynasty and the Tang Dynasty, 筚篥 appeared 3 times and 8 times respectively in the caves excavated.

  The images of stringed musical instruments include Ruan, Zheng, Pipa and Konghou. Among them, Zheng and Ruan are traditional Chinese musical instruments, while Pipa and Konghou are imported instruments.

The images of Zheng and Ruan appear 17 times and 7 times respectively, 6 times and 5 times respectively in the caves of the Northern Wei Dynasty, and 11 times and 2 times respectively in the caves of the Tang Dynasty.

The images of the pipa in the Longmen Grottoes include two types of four-stringed and five-stringed pipa, which appear 10 times and 6 times respectively. The images of the four- and five-stringed pipa in the caves of the Northern Wei Dynasty both appear three times, and the images of the four- and five-stringed pipa in the caves of the Tang Dynasty appear 3 times. 7 and 3 times, respectively.

Konghou images appear only three times in Tang Dynasty caves.

  Among the 14 kinds of musical instruments carved in the caves of the Northern Wei Dynasty, wind instruments such as sheng and flute are the most popular, and percussion instruments such as cymbals and waist drums are more widely used and popular.

In the Northern Wei Dynasty, the frequency of musical instruments such as the 筚篥, the four-stringed pipa, and the xiao, which appeared infrequently in the Tang Dynasty, increased exponentially.

The introduction of wind instruments such as ji and horns used in the nomadic life of the northern ethnic minorities introduced the form of advocacy music, which prompted the gradual transformation of elegant music into vulgar music. Faqu, often used in banquets and sacrificial occasions.

It is not difficult to see the transformation of elegant music to vulgar music and the blending of Buddhist music and vulgar music from the image of musical instrument combination.

Jiyue in social change

  In the dance music images of Longmen Grottoes, there are a large number of "Ki Le" performance scenes, and there are 176 "Ki Le Tian" and "Ki Le people".

Those who play music and dance in the celestial world are called "Ji Le Tian", who are located on the top of the Buddha statue or the dome of the cave; those who play music and dance in the ordinary music and dance activities in the earth world are called "Ji Le Ren" and live at the bottom of the Buddha statue.

The number of "players" and "players" in each cave, as well as the number of musical instruments that appear in them, have been designed artificially. Not only is the number of people closely related to the size of the cave, but the movements of the players and players in the caves are symmetrical. Type composition, forming a pair of regular units.

The "Ji Letian" and "Ji Leren" in each cave have different and diverse musical instruments, forming a relatively complete band composition.

  There are 34 groups of various musical instruments in Longmen Grottoes, including 16 groups in Northern Wei Dynasty caves and 18 groups in Tang Dynasty caves.

The bands of the Northern Wei Dynasty were small in scale, and there were many combinations within 4 musical instruments. The group with the most musical instruments consisted of 12 musical instruments.

In the Tang Dynasty, the scale of the band continued to expand. Combinations of more than 8 musical instruments were common. A band of 18 musical instruments appeared in the backlight of the Buddha statue in Fengxian Temple.

The caves of the Northern Wei Dynasty only had "Ji Le Tian", and in the Tang Dynasty, "Ji Le people" appeared, the scenes of large-scale music activities increased, and the trend of secularization of music performances was obvious.

The "ji music" in the Longmen Grottoes is a reflection of the development and prosperity of social music culture at that time, and has left very precious historical materials for the study of ancient Chinese dance music history.

  As a world cultural heritage, the Longmen Grottoes carry the ancient and splendid civilization of the Central Plains and reflect the achievements of cultural exchanges along the Silk Road.

The colorful grotto art contains a large number of precious musical instruments and images of musical instruments, which are of great value and significance for the in-depth study of the characteristics of ancient Chinese music, national personality characteristics and the development of religious culture.

With the integrated development of cultural heritage and tourism, it has increasingly become the main theme of the national cultural development plan and the prosperity of the tourism market, injecting new vitality into the ancient artistic miracle of Longmen Grottoes in the new era.

(Author: Guo Kejian and Wang Yubo, dean and professor of Zhejiang Normal University School of Music, respectively, special researcher at Zhejiang Normal University Base of Research Center for Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in Zhejiang Province; 2021-level master student of ethnomusicology at Zhejiang Normal University)