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This Is China: Welcome to Hanzhong

In the second episode of This Is China, Rick O’Shea, the first American DJ to live and broadcast in China, continues his journey around the marvellous Asian country. Tune in to the episode’s premiere on Friday to join him and learn more about Chinese history and culture!

In the second episode of This Is China, Rick travels to Hanzhong, the birthplace of the Han dynasty

One of Rick’s latest stops on his journey around China is Hanzhong City in the Shaanxi Province. Today Hanzhong is widely known as the birthplace of e-commerce giant Alibaba. However, it also has tremendous historical meaning as the birthplace of the Han dynasty.

There were metropolises with millions of people during the Han dynasty, the world-leading papermaking technology was created, and the Silk Road was opened up. In the next 2,000 years, China’s territory evolved on top of the Han territory. The success and glory represented by Han have lived up until today.

The Han dynasty laid the foundations of modern China

The people here are creating a unique Han culture themed resort, Xinghan Shengjing, that will perpetuate the dynasty’s contribution to Chinese history and culture.

In Hanzhong, Rick meets Li Liangchen, a lovely 22-year-old dancer. Having fallen in love with Han culture, Li quit her job and came here to perform the traditional Han dance.

“I came to work here because of my love for ancient Han culture and clothes,” Li tells Rick.

Li Liangchen comes from an ordinary family in Xi’an. She’s been dancing since the age of 6, but her father did not encourage her. So at 13, she left home to take professional dancing classes in another city. When she learned about the Han cultural resort being created in Hanzhong, she rushed there, intending to learn the traditional Han dances.

Li Liangchen is a 22-year-old dancer who came to Hanzhong to perform the traditional Han dance

Li has to get up at 6 a.m. every day. One of the first things she does after getting up is putting on her makeup. During peak tourist seasons, dancers at the Xinghan Shengjing theatre have four performances a day and wear makeup until 10 at night.

The performers have to wear make up all day long

At 10 in the morning, Li is about to start her first show – A Tribute to Han. This is the most popular show here. In 50 minutes, it tells the glorious history of the Han dynasty. During the show, each performer has to change into many different costumes and carry a lot of props.

The audience is mesmerised by the beautiful performance. But what they don’t see is the 100 performers running back and forth in the corridors under the stage. They scurry on three levels, changing into new costumes, taking new props and rushing to different entrances. Everyone is serious and won’t allow themselves to make any mistakes.

During peak tourist seasons, Li and her colleagues perform from 10 in the morning till 10 in the evening

Though Li has been here for a month, she has fitted in perfectly. However, success always comes at a price.

Frequent performances have brought back old injuries. But to pass the probation period and get a leading role, Li has to forget about the pain and challenge her fears. This is the aspiration of a dancer, and it won’t come true without over ten years of hard work and self-discipline.

The audience is mesmerised by the show

Do you want to learn more about Li and the Han culture she admires so much? Tune in to the premiere of the second episode of This is China on Friday and join Rick O’Shea on his journey to Hanzhong!