'Vulgar' and 'pornographic' dance to celebrate Tsinghua University anniversary lambasted online

29 April, 2021
'Vulgar' and 'pornographic' dance to celebrate Tsinghua University anniversary lambasted online
Tsinghua University faced criticism over the weekend for approving a dance that some considered vulgar.  A brief video clip of nine women dancing through the anniversary celebration of a prestigious Chinese university over the weekend was panned to be "pornographic" and "vulgar".  The short video features the ladies dancing while wearing golden dresses decorated with tassels through the 110th anniversary celebration at Tsinghua University in Beijing, among China's top schools.

The women danced for approximately two minutes before the school's iconic Grand Auditorium on Saturday while a marching band played music in the backdrop. The dance was choreographed to music played by a marching band in it.  The video soon became a subject of discussion in China over the weekend. Jenny Lai, a music professor at a university in Guangzhou, said the Tsinghua students had their to dance, nonetheless it was "humiliating" for the institution to approve the dance to be staged in public. "It implies that Tsinghua University has poor aesthetic sense," Lai told the South China Morning Post. "It's OK that you dance non-professionally. But you cannot choose those types of dresses and make-up." "Even dancers at my son's primary school's gala shows are better packaged than these Tsinghua girls," she said. US-based writer Qiao Mu, who graduated from Tsinghua, said he felt disappointed with the dance. "The choreographic design is lousy, the women's performance is rough and the music is embarrassing. If not for the school's name or the Auditorium appearing in the video, I would have thought the dance was part of a patio disco or an entertaining gig at a rural market, or a dance to celebrate the opening of a bathing centre," wrote Qiao. After catching eels for tuition, man's PhD acknowledgement inspires China.  His comment received a lot more than 95,000 likes on Weibo, China's Twitter-like service.

Another user said "This vulgar 'sexy dance' isn't serious at all. It isn't ideal for this top university's birthday event. I cannot help believing our best university and our young persons are degenerating. How sad!" Tsinghua was ranked as the 15th best university on the globe by QS World University Rankings last year and ranked 1st in Asia in the US News & World Report.

Not everyone agreed with the critics. "Girls are, in the end, not professional dancers. It's impossible to allow them to dance at the particular level required by the National Centre for the Performing Arts," wrote a user on Weibo. "I think their dance is good. They showed their dynamics plus they danced happily." Someone else echoed the comment by saying "There shouldn't be a problem for the Tsinghua women to dance such as this. The school's birth celebration is meant to be for students to gather and celebrate. The dance showcases the students' youth and freedom. You won't need to lambast them."

An editorial at news portal Thepaper.cn on Sunday said persons could criticise the dance, but being rude had not been acceptable. "Some individual online celebrities and internet users deliberately depict the dance as pornographic. They use bad language to attack those women … It's obviously a kind of online violence against the ladies," this article said. "Every person has shortcomings," it continued, pointing out that the Tsinghua women excelled in academics, not dancing. "We shouldn't take this small incident seriously. Nor should we launch personal attacks on these girls on the web."