Tradition scales height of daring
Updated: Dec 21, 2023
Dawaz performance is staged at the Silk Road International Ski Resort in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. [Photo by Wang Jing/China Daily]

High above the ground at the Silk Road International Ski Resort in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, cables stretched across the snow-covered slope, carrying not only cable cars with skiers onboard, but also two performers.

They gracefully navigated the narrow cable, sometimes walking forward and backward, sometimes even performing daring moves like dancing. Each footstep incited a gasp from the awe-stricken audience.

The performance is known as Dawaz, which means "walking on high ropes" in the Uygur language. It is a traditional acrobatic art form that has been practiced for thousands of years by the Uygur people. The performances are usually held outdoors and feature a variety of moves such as walking, sitting, blindfolded walking, and leaping on high ropes or steel wires without any safety harnesses.

Kazak performers entertain audience with music and dance. [Photo by Wang Jing/China Daily]

"I felt a little bit nervous, but we've walked on higher ropes than this, around 300-400 meters high. This is only about 100 meters, so it's fine," said Niyazi Aili, one of the performers.

The resort also features typical elements of the Kazak ethnic group. Performers dressed up in Kazak costumes danced Kara Jorga, a traditional Kazak folk dance, to the joyous music and welcomed skiers from across the country.

Additionally, Kazak yurts are under construction to offer skiers an authentic traditional Kazak residential experience.

The Silk Road International Ski Resort hosted the 13th Chinese National Winter Games in 2016 and has been certified by the International Ski and Snowboard Federation to host international events. It is both an exhilarating venue for outdoor enthusiasts and a platform for celebrating the cultural heritage of the region.

The resort draws a big crowd of skiers. [Photo by Wang Jing/China Daily]

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