On Seeing A Pupil Of Kung-Sun Dance The Chien-Ch`i
On the nineteenth day of the tenth month of the second year of Ta-li (15 November 767), in the residence of Yuan Ch`ih, Lieutenant-Governor of K`uei-chou, I saw Li Shih-er-niang of Lin-ying dance the chien-ch`i.
Impressed by the brilliance and thrust of her style, I asked her whom she had studied under. ``I am a pupil of Kung-sun'', was the reply.
I remember in the fifth year of K`ai-yuan (717) when I was still a little lad seeing Kung-sun dance the chien-ch`i
and the hun-t`o at Yen-ch`eng. For purity of technique and self-confident attack she was unrivaled in her day.
From the ``royal command performers'' and the ``insiders'' of the Spring Garden and Pear Garden schools in the palace down to the ``official call'' dancers outside, there was no one during the early years of His Sagely Pacific and Divinely Martial Majesty who understood this dance as she did. Where now is that lovely figure in its gorgeous costume? Now even I am an old, white-haired man; and this pupil of hers is well past her prime.
Having found out about the pupil's antecedents, I now realized that what I had been watching was a faithful
reproduction of the great dancer's interpretation. The train of reflections set off by this discovery so moved me