Buddha's words

Buddha's words
My inspiration. We are what we think, All that we are arises from our thoughts, With our thoughts we make the world. Photo copyright Sean Duggan

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lion dance video

Dear readers

This is the video taken by Gwen with editing by myself of the Lion dance at Tan and Tan Lawyers. Enjoy.

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The Lion Dance is a well known Chinese folk tradition and an important part of traditional kung fu school. It is an essential part of Chinese festivals/holidays and important functions such as weddings,business openings etc. Often performed by gung fu schools at such events to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune, happiness and prosperity, that is if it is well performed. Traditional lion dance performances also include the lighting of firecrackers to scare away the evil sprits. Although this is not very common in many western countries due to the legal issues, it is still done in many parts of south east Asia.

Lion dance displays the spirit of the gung fu school and it is often performed by gung fu practitioners. No traditional gung fu school is considered complete without a lion dance team. Along with the style, lion dance has been passed down from master to student for centuries. The skills needed for lion dancing include strength, stamina, flexibility, balance, and the ability to visualize and improvise dramatic movements. The heavy lion head requires a dancer with strong shoulders and arms, and the performers footwork incorporates most of the various Kung Fu stances and kicks. The person portaying the tail is bent over most of the time, and needs a very strong back and legs. Many Hung Gar masters were famous for their lion dance performance. The legendary Wong Fei Hung was extremely well know for his excellent Lion Dance and was referred to as the "King Of Lions". During the long revolutionary resistance against the Ch'ing government the Hung Gar practitioners often used their lion dance to communicated with the other Chinese patriots.

History And Origins
Although no real lions ever existed in china, lion and the tradition of lion dance have existed in Chinese culture and history for thousands of years. Chinese lions bears very little resemblance to the real lion, which, however plays a important part in Chinese folklore. In traditional Chinese culture the lions are seen as peaceful creatures and widely considered as divine animals of nobility and dignity. Through out Chinese history the lion has been used to symbolic strength, courage and wisdom.Since the 3'rd century AD pair of guardian lion statues, can often been seen in front of official buildings and temple's to protect these premises. The pair is often made up of a male lion on the right and a female lion on the left. The right paw of the male lion rests on an ornamental ball and under the left paw of the female lion is a cup. The number of curls on the head of these lions depends on the rank of the officials whose premises they are guarding. Lion dance has a very long history. The first record of the performance of an early form of the Lion Dance dates to the early Ch'in and Han Dynasties (Third Century BC) However there are many different stories and myths about how and when the lion dance was originated, but sadly there are no exact historical records about its origin. This being the case it is difficult to place lion dance historically and state exactly how it started.

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