lion dance newsletter 2015 - Tucson Chinese Cultural Center


lion dance newsletter 2015 - Tucson Chinese Cultural Center
file:///Users/sethpepper/Desktop/TCCC/TCCC Newsletter/TCC...
Why is the Chinese lion Dance so special?
What makes it unique? What does it mean?
These are questions that I have been asked
many times over the years since I started
learning the lion dance. As a performer for
over 20 years, every time I put on the lion
costume and start a performance I still get
chills and goosebumps. Why you ask? Well
because of what the Chinese Lion Dance
The Chinese Lion, a mythical creature, a symbol of luck, and the protection against evil. During
Chinese New Years, it represents the ideas and thoughts of the Chinese traditions and culture.
As the story is told a fierce monster called
the “nian” was terrorizing the village year
after year, kidnapping the children. The
villagers prayed for help and a mythical lion
answered it. The lion chased away and
defeated the “nian” but the “nian” vowed to
come back the following year. This time
though the villages did not have the help of
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the lion, so to solve the problem they created
a costume in the likeness of the lion, and
used the sound of the drums, cymbals, and
firecrackers to scare away the “nian”. Thus,
this is why the lion dance is performed every year.
The Chinese lion dance has certainly evolved
throughout the many years with different
routines to different costumes and props such
as wine bottles and glow in the dark lions. But
the dance itself has kept its original purpose,
which was to drive away evil spirits and bring
about good fortune and luck. The
performance of two people in a lion costume
performing acrobatic techniques while telling a
story has delighted thousands upon thousands
of people not just in China, but worldwide.
As a student growing up learning the Lion
Dance, I was always in awe of how inspiring
the dance was. It was not some regular
ordinary dance that could be performed
everyday. Each step and props within the
dance had significant meanings and the ability
to make people see the lion as lifelike and not
just two people dancing in the costume was
always motivating. I felt that I was not only
representing my family and organization, but I
was representing the culture and traditions of
the past. I was not just doing a dance, but
telling and sharing a story with everyone. Sharing a passion of mine with hope that I could
inspire other people.
As part of the Tucson Chinese Lion Dance
Club our purpose is to teach these traditions
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and cultures to anyone who wants to learn.
To inspire new students and hope that they
continue and inspire even more students. Our
club was created in order to promote the
history and culture in Tucson. We only started
with 4-5 students and now have grown to class
of over 20 students! As of today our club has
performed at numerous events all around
Tucson and even in Phoenix, such as the
Rodeo and Fiesta bowl parades, Tucson meet
yourself fair, ect. We welcome anyone who would like to learn about the Chinese Lion Dance, as
we want to pass down the traditions and knowledge. As we continue to grow into the future, we
must continue to promote and teach this art form so that it is not forgotten. Our goals are to
teach the students about the history of the Lion Dance, but also to have fun. The performances
that we put on are not only for the audiences, but also for the students, as they love to
demonstrate what they have learned. So I encourage anyone who wants to participate to
come out and join. To learn about the traditions, to share the culture, to be part of
something special.
Sifu Kevin Lau
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