Category: zhang ziyi



Chinese Long Sleeve Dance by Zhang Ziyi in movie, House of Flying Daggers

Zhang Ziyi’s dance is really beautiful and worth to watch, it has a poetic name called 仙人指路 which means Taoist immortal directs the way. You will see why it has this name after you watch the dance.

Zhang played the part of a blind dancing girl in upscale brothel. The director is Zhang Yimou so that’s a guarantee for aesthetics in the movie.

Notes: The long flowing silk inner sleeve merit is one of Chinese Peking opera stunts.  Its postures are too numerous to cite individually. For example: throw the sleeve, wield the sleeve, flick the sleeve, raise the sleeve, swing the sleeve, fling the sleeve, the back sleeve, the pendulum sleeve, brush off the sleeve, fold the sleeve, build the sleeve, circle the sleeve, pull up the sleeve, the booklet sleeve, select the sleeve, turn the sleeve and so on. Zhang Ziyi’s dance added Wuxia factors which made the dance more powerful.

BTW I found the translation “House of flying daggers” funny because its Chinese name has nothing to do with such house, it just means ambush on all sides. Maybe I should be the translator,lol.


Poem wrote by Li Yan’nian(Han dynasty):

There is a beauty in the northern lands;

Unequaled, high above the world she stands.

At her first glance, soldiers would lose their town;

At her second, a monarch would his crown.

How could the soldiers and monarch neglect their duty?

For town and crown are overshadowed by her beauty.


House of Flying Daggers (十面埋伏) dir. Zhang Yimou. 2004. 

Set during the decline of the Tang Dynasty, wuxia romance film House of Flying Daggers tells the story of police officers and best friends Leo (played by Andy Lau) and Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro) who are tasked with murdering the leader of a prominent rebel group who battles the corrupt and oppressive Tang government. Jin comes up with the plan of kidnapping the alleged daughter of the leader named Mei (Zhang Ziyi), a blind dancer whom Jin falls in love with. His plan rapidly unravels as Mei’s true identity and relationships are revealed, forming a complex web of desires between Mei, Jin, and Leo. Zhang Yimou was inspired to direct the film after reading a poem by Han dynasty poet and court musician Li Yannian (李延年) about a woman so beautiful she brings destruction to city and nation. 


“In the north, there is a beautiful person; surpassing the world, she stands alone. 
A glance from her will overturn a city, another glance overturns a country.
One would rather not learn of whether it is city or country that is overthrown.
It is difficult to come by such beauty.”