CHINA: Off with the Dance

Shanghai's 20,000 dancing girls were desperate. By Oct. 1, said the Central Government's decree, their feet must be still, their dance halls locked and dark. Like shark fins, sea slugs, imported brandy, birthday parties (except for men over 60) and wedding presents, taxi-dancing was a luxury too frivolous for China's new austerity. The girls, whose average annual salary is $4,500,000 CN ($112 U.S.), fought to keep the party going.

"For us now there is only death," sighed a dainty dancer at a huge protest rally in Shanghai's New Fairy Forest ballroom last week. A delegation of ten, led by graceful, limpid-eyed...

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