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China: Around The Nation

Chinese park hobbles energetic street dancers

Park director says large crowds at events cause conflict and damage foliage

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 April, 2017, 2:41pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 April, 2017, 2:41pm

A public park in central China has temporarily banned urban street dancing after a particularly lively dance session.

Dancers at the People’s Park in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, were asked to stop their activities early on Wednesday morning, the Zhengzhou Evening News reported.

Park director Gao Yong said the decision was made for multiple reasons, in part because the large crowds of dancers and bystanders were trampling the park’s flowers and grass. There were also instances of stealing and other types of conflict stemming from the number of people in the park, and some pedestrians were “taking advantage” of the revelry to live-stream the dancers, according to Gao.

Although he said the dance ban was temporary, the park put up a sign around 10am warning the public against any live streaming at the park.

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Visitors to the park were divided on the decision to stop people from dancing.

One elderly man accompanying a young child said street dancing resembled “dance fighting”. “[The dancing] doesn’t look good at all, and it teachers our kids to fight,” he said. “When I came here earlier and saw crowds watching the dancing, I bypassed them. I hate this kind of dance.”

Two other elderly people at the park told the newspaper: “We don’t understand this street dancing thing. But as long as it’s not illegal, people can dance however they want – it’s all just exercise. As long as they’re not really fighting, it is fine.”

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Another group of old people in the park on Wednesday were practising walking on a runway, as if catwalking in a fashion show. Though many were indifferent to the street dancing, one woman said, “The music that people are street dancing too is particularly loud and deafening, so we cannot practise.”