Lion Dance – 舞狮

I am never a big fan of noisy lion dance but last week I was stucked in one because of business duty all the way in Klang. People told me that the Bank paid RM10k for this ‘world class’ team to come over to perform. But sadly due to the heavy rain, the lions seemed a lil crippled as they had to pause for every single step so that the pillars could be wiped dry. In the end, I didn’t enjoy it at all.
However being a Chinese, I can’t run away from Lion dance… So I took a lil liberty & time to do a quick research on Lion Dance… I never knew so much about Lion dance until today… So here it goes….
According to Wikepedia, Lion dance (simplified Chinese: 舞狮; traditional Chinese: 舞獅; pinyin: wǔshī) is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture, in which performers mimic a lion’s movements in a lion costume.
Chinese lion dances can be broadly categorised into two styles, Northern (北獅) and Southern (南獅). Northern dance was used as entertainment for the imperial court. The northern lion is usually red, orange, and yellow (sometimes with green fur for the female lion), shaggy in appearance, with a golden head. The northern dance is acrobatic and is mainly performed as entertainment. Sometimes, they perform dangerous stunts.
Southern dance is more symbolic. It is usually performed as a ceremony to exorcise evil spirits and to summon luck and fortune. The southern lion exhibits a wide variety of colour and has a distinctive head with large eyes, a mirror on the forehead, and a single horn at center of the head. The lion dance also symbolises the myth of the Chinese new year.
Several movies in the Once Upon a Time in China series involve plots centered around Lion Dancing, especially Once Upon a Time in China III and IV.
Jet Li has performed as a lion dancer in several of his films, including Southern style lion dancing in Once Upon a Time in China III, Once Upon a Time in China and America and Northern style lion dancing in Shaolin Temple 2, and Shaolin Temple 3.
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