The Loyalty Dance

Everyone should know the steps. If you have a boss you definitely need to practice. That’s just the way it’s always been … dance a little dance …

The “loyalty dance,” or zhongziwu (忠字舞), was a collective dance that became prevalent during the Cultural Revolution, at a time when Mao Zedong and his image reigned supreme over all aspects of life in China. The dancers, grasping their copies of the “little red book,” Quotations From Chairman Mao, would dance, leap and shout to the impassioned ring of the music – all to express their boundless loyalty to the Chairman.

The “loyalty dance” was a fixture of China’s Cultural Revolution, and Kang Wenjie’s performance at a giant Maoist teach-in was boffo. (Li Zhensheng / Contact Press Images)

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