(b Jiangsu, 18 Dec. 1906; d Beijing, 8 Jul. 1995)
Chinese dancer, choreographer and teacher, considered the father of Chinese modern dance. He studied ballet and modern dance and in 1931 opened a dance studio in Shanghai with the intention of bringing Western ballet to China. This met with no success and he went on to develop his own New Chinese Dance style, influenced by German expressionism and Duncan—his bare feet causing outrage among traditionalists. His many works during the 1930s were political attacks on the invading Japanese, but in 1949 he began to create more utopian works using traditional Chinese music to accompany his still experimental dance style. In 1960 he was forced to stop performing and teaching and for eighteen years remained inactive, but subsequently continued his activities as a committed dance educator.