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Yunnan choreographer Yang Liping gracefully weathers online storm

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Recently, Yunnan native and extraordinary dancer and choreographer of worldwide fame Yang Liping (杨丽萍) — also known as the Peacock Princess of China — found herself at the centre of a heated online debate. Yang Liping — a Bai ethnic minority woman originally from a village near Dali — premiered "The spirit of Peacock" in 1986, and was the first dancer from Mainland China to perform in Taiwan in 1992. She has performed over 1000 shows and toured across the globe.

She had received criticism on Chinese social media, for being childless at 61 years of age. The larger Chinese society and the majority of individual families still expect its young adults to get married and have children, with women who remain unmarried labeled with the derogatory sheng nü (剩女) or leftover women. However, other famous women performers quickly came to her defence, with their comments garnering millions of 'likes' — indicating a shift in attitude towards women who follow a less traditional path in life in today's China.

Yang Liping herself spoke out:

It is inevitable that every human being will go on a journey to become old [...] But as long as your spirit is young and filled with positive vibes, you will have a special aura around you. As long as you think you are having a good life and are not harmful to others, it is all good. Thank you everyone for your understanding and love. I hope we could all be at ease, just like me.

A class act.

Her Dynamic Yunnan show is a long-running and award-winning attraction in Kunming, showcasing minority culture and world-class contemporary Chinese dance, including her signature peacock dance — a spellbinding performance. The show recently moved to a brand new venue.

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Comes with the territory of being a celebrity. Open book, and open to criticisms, however unjustified or unfair those may be.

In previous interviews Yang Liping has admitted regrets for not having a child of her own. Though it is well documented she has always treated her niece, Xiao Caiqi (小彩旗) who is now 20 years old, as her own daughter. Yang Liping's heiress apparent to the peacock princess succession whom she trained since young.

Some photos of them:


Yang Liping performed in Pasadena, California in 1995. I was lucky to see her dance and meet her after the show. Liping is truly a Yunnan, Dali treasure.

What an exceedingly and rude insensitive thing to say to someone.

As for Yang Liping and her protege - I've had the good fortune to see both of these artists perform. The entire choreographed show is a memorable feast for the eyes and ears.

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