A folk custom in Qianshan area, Phoenix-Rooster Dance took root in 1621 in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and was introduced in Xiangshan County (today’s Zhongshan and Zhuhai) in the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It prevailed in the late Qing Dynasty and early Republic of China period.
In the 1920s, Phoenix-Rooster Dance performer Li Fuwu opened a Kung Fu club in Qianshan, instructing in martial arts and the dance. Bao Liu of Qianshan Village, who is in his 90s, and Li Shoushan of Zaobei Village were the best performers among his apprentices.
The art encompasses making of the prop out of bamboo and the actual performance. The 1.7-m-long Phoenix-Rooster can flap its wings and move its neck, bearing a strong resemblance to the legendary phoenix and rooster. Pleasure, anger, sorrow, joy, and surprise are presented in solos and group dances, and visiting, playing with water, dressing and making up, seeking treasures, walking, dancing, and acknowledging the applause are demonstrated during the performances.
Phoenix-Rooster Dance features art, music, dance, and sports, and suggests peace and prosperity, good weather for crops, and a golden harvest.