farm city!

dance dance revolution. | January 31, 2010

The Red Detachment of Women. Chinese Ballet. Premiered 1964.

My sister is enrolled in the now-defunct woman’s studies program at Guelph University. She’s writing a paper on this play, The Red Detachment of Women. Women revolutionaries, dancing, guns – this shit must have inspired Marcel Dzama’s recent work, a music video and his Sobey Award nominated series.

The Red Detachment of Women is a ballet based on a novel by Liang Xin about a peasant girl in Hainan Island and her rise in the Chinese Communist Party. The novel was based on the true stories of 100+ member strong all-female Special Company of the 2nd Independent Division of Chinese Red Army, first formed in May, 1931. As the communist base in Hainan was destroyed by the nationalists, most of members of the female detachment survived, partially due to the fact that they were women and easier to hide among the local populace who were sympathetic to their cause.

I don’t have a lot of respect for ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics,’ but I do appreciate the decades of Prop-Art.

(That quote is from Deng, by the way – he basically took over after Chairman Mao’s passing. Art + History, fun!).



  1. Hello, just wondering where you got these images from? I would like to include them in an art project, but they must be properly credited. Do you happen to know whom I must ask for permission?

    Comment by stephanie — January 28, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

    • sorry stephanie –

      it’s been too long since i’ve posted those, can’t quite remember.
      when i started, i was pretty adamant about citing the references of all the content of my blog,
      but as you can tell,
      i quickly stopped,
      for a variety of reasons,
      laziness being one.

      sorry i can’t help you more…

      Comment by marcosandres — January 30, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

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