Of Lion and Dragon Dancing

It must be on our way back from Daeng Plateau in Java, Indonesia when I woke up with a start. I looked out of the window and managed to catch a glimpse of a lorry travelling in the opposite direction. The lorry was carrying what looked like a mystical creature and indeed, I would not be wrong to say that it was Indonesia's version of a Chinese Lion Dance. In Malaysia and elsewhere where there is a sizeable Chinese population,Lion Dance is commonly featured especially during festive seasons, most notably during the Chinese New Year. Chinese Lion Dance feature two athletic males who prance about like a lion to the beat of drums. One of the dancers would manouvere the paper mache' lion's head, often flipping its eyes to tease and the other dancer working behind him on the lion's elaborately decorated body would have to synchronise his movement so that the two dancers work like a unit. I suppose it is not an easy task to be done but I have never given that much thought most proabbly since the Lion Dance is such a common sight in Malaysia and the dancers are so adept and make the dance looks like easy pie. The first lion dance troupe in Malaysia, I read has been set up in the late 19th century in Penang by a clan association and I suppose it must have spread to other states from there.The lion dance ought not to be confused with the dragon dance though...

Lion Dance...






Dragon Dance...


Comments

Liudmila said…
Very beautiful show. I would like to see it one day "alive".
footiam said…
The show are beautiful when there is a competition. Normally, we don't see much of the dragon dance but the lion dance will be featured during Chinese New Year and many other celebrations, such as the official opening of a company and so on. Drums and cymbals will be played and usually, it's a noisy affair but we already get used to it.

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