Underneath a freeway overpass, on a vacant concrete traffic island in the middle of bustling Beijing, forty Chinese women in their sixties and seventies, dressed in silk brocaded jackets and padded silk pants, slowly waved lime-green handkerchiefs and fluttered hot pink, white, and green striped fans above their heads (Figure 2.1). They followed an undulating and circulating pattern, dividing into two rows, then reuniting to form one big group. They danced alongside one another, without partners, moving to the rhythm of five male musicians playing drums, cymbals, and horns at the head of the makeshift city stage. Dressed in dark winter overcoats, knit caps, and heavy woolen scarves, the musicians stood somberly nearby. Sometimes watching the dancers, sometimes nodding at each other, they enveloped the space within their percussionist sphere.