Friday, January 2, 2009

Skywatch-Lion Dance

This is so beautiful. I was strolling along Singapore River with hubby when I heard the sound of drums. So I hurried to where the sound comes from cause I knew there must be a lion dance somewhere.

The background of shophouses are restaurants and pubs. They used to be warehouses during the earlier days of Singapore. You might like to read an article about the warehouses which were also used by the Japanese as screening centres during WWII. (Source: Loyang Primary School )

The building in the background with colourful windows was once upon a time "Hill Street police station" which was also Singapore first jail during the Japanese Occupation. To know more about the building you could read it at Wikipedia.

A short video of the lion dance. These lion dancers are from Hongkong, they were rehearsing for a lion dance competition. This is the southern lion dance.
video
Types of Lion Dances

There are two types of lion dances, namely the Northern and Southern lion dance which differs in the appearance of the lion and the performance style.

Northern Lion Dance

The Northern school, practised in Beijing, is more acrobatic with the lion balancing on balls and on see-saws whilst being enticed by a pugilist dressed as a 'warrior'. The pugilist teasing the lion uses a fan or a ball and the interplay between him and the lion is the focus of the dance. The Northern Lion evolved from a Mongolian animal puppet placed on a post and paraded during festivals. The Northern Lion is furry with an orange and yellow, woollen coat.

Southern Lion Dance

The Southern school, which is more popularly performed in Singapore, originated in Guangdong. It involves a less hairy Lion which is taunted by a big-headed clown. They traditionally perform outdoors, the cai qing or literally "plucking the green", referring to the acrobatic act of picking up a sprig of lettuce from as high as three storeys, achieved only by using a pole or forming a human pyramid. The Southern lion has a 'skin' of white/yellow and brown/ black patterns. Whilst the Northern Lion is reputedly fierce, with a serious temperament, the Southern Lion is tame and playful. (Source: infopedia )

For other sky watchers, please hop over to Skywatch blog.

19 comments:

Indrani said...

I didn't know there were 2 different types of Lion Dance. The video clipping is interesting, well taken.

napaboaniya said...

This month end we'll be seeing lots of these dances around :P

Happy 2009!!

Becky and Gary said...

Wow, I've not seen anything like this before. I'm wondering how they can see where they are going. Very nice clip. Thanks for sharing.
B.

Lew said...

Very nice post on his ancient celebration!

uncleawang said...

Thanks for sharing the good happening in Singapore.Happy 2009 New Year & may health & wealth be with you and your family through the year 2009.

fishing guy said...

Alice: Thanks for sharing this lion in the sky dance. I wonder how they do such a neat job of jumping on those platforms. That was fun to watch.

Em Dy said...

The lion dance is such a good way to welcome the year. Very festive!

LadyFi said...

You have so many interesting goings-on out there!

Photo Cache said...

Happy New Year. Lion dance is always a sight to watch.

esnorway said...

nice pics happy new year!!

The Arthur Clan said...

Thanks for sharing the info about the dances...very interesting!

Wren said...

Great skywatch post, Alice. I love learning about the lion dances and see the photos of your southern lion.

Happy new year, and all the best in 2009!

SandyCarlson said...

Happy New Year!

vincibene said...

Very interesting series!

Lakshmi said...

very interesting..I have seen this before, but I didnt know there was so much behind it..thanks for sharing..happy new year

the donG said...

im actually looking forward for the chinese new year here! i want to see those lion dance.

ramblingwoods said...

Great post..I love to learn something new...wonderful..

Elfe said...

So funny to see the lion dancing. Thank you an Happy New Year.
Elfe

Louise said...

Very nice post. It's always a treat to see what you have been seeing that is nothing at all like what I see!