A rare pale green jade figure of a male dancer
Eastern Han Dynasty
Carved balancing on one foot with the other leg in mid-step bent at the knee, with one arm outstretched in front of the bare chest, the other arm raised to the back with an object grasped in his hand, the striking face with prominent eyes, nose and a wide mouth with large front teeth, the stone of a pale green tone with opaque straw and dark brown inclusions.
10.4cm (4 1/8in) high
During the Han dynasty, entertainment for the elite typically included dances and performances, as evidenced by Han dynasty tomb reliefs and pottery figurines. Generally, the line between dance and acrobatics, which included juggling and martial arts, was blurred. See, K.Soar and C.Aamodt, 'Archaeological Approaches to Dance Performance', BAR International Series, British Archaeological Reports, Vol.2622, Oxford, 2014, p.71. Compare the similar poses of the bare-chested bodies of acrobats and jugglers depicted on a tomb relief from Chengdu, Sichuan, in the Chengdu Museum, illustrated by R.L.Thorp and R.E.Vinograd, Chinese Art and Culture, London, 2001, p.128, nos.4-9.
Compare several related Eastern Han dynasty pottery figures of male dancers including: one excavated in 1963 in Pi County, Sichuan Province; another excavated in 1982 from Majiashan tomb no.23 in Xindu County, Sichuan Province, illustrated by S.Lee, China: 5000 Years, New York, 1998, pls.96 and 97; and two earthenware dancers with similar clothes and poses in the Charlotte C. and John C. Weber collection, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, accession number 1994.605,87a,b.
漢代王宮貴族喜愛音樂、舞蹈、雜技等表演活動，類似的雜技及舞蹈場面在東漢畫像石、磚和墓室壁畫中較為多見，例如四川省大巴縣安仁鎮一處漢墓中即可見類似的說唱舞人，同樣是裸露上身，參閱K.Soar及C.Aamodt，「Archaeological Approaches to Dance Performance」一文，著錄於《BAR InternationalSeries, British Archaeological Reports》，卷2622，牛津，2014年，頁71，圖12.
類似的表現手法，也可見於東漢墓葬出土的陶俑，如四川郫縣宋家林出土的說唱俑，現藏於四川省博物院，另見四川新都縣三河鄉出土的一尊蹲坐說唱俑，著錄於Lee.S，《China: 5000 years》，紐約，1998年，圖96及97。另見紐約大都會博物館藏兩件東漢彩繪陶舞俑，博物館編號1994.605,87a,b。