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Xoang Dance of the Ba Na

Xoang is a traditional community dance performed by ethic groups who live in the Central Highlands, particularly the Ba Na. To the beat of drums and gongs, people form a circle and move anticlockwise slowly and rhythmically. They dance in the front yard of the communal house, around a tall bamboo pole called a Neu tree, which is believed to ward off evil spirits. The Xoang dance describes a person’s lifespan. Movements imitate daily activities such as catching an animal, lighting a fire, cutting trees, and sowing seeds, and expressing emotions like love, compassion, and hate.