The lion dance is inseparable from the Chinese New Year that takes place usually. Bringing happiness, luck and prosperity, this millennial dance continues to attract many practitioners. This morning, members of the Association got up early to dance.
The Start of the Situation
The drums resonate between the walls. A smile appears on the face of a woman, she seems intrigued by the ancestral rhythm that escapes from the temple Chane. For now, a dozen teenagers repeat their choreography seriously under the watchful eye of Fabrice Chan, the coach. In the temple complex erected in 1896 and embellished with large bushy trees, four of them give the rhythm behind a drum, cymbals and gong.
All are concentrated because the alchemy of the whole is fragile:It is very codified, the lion dance is composed of several specific movements and the music must adapt to it. The lions are handled by two people, hidden under a fur cape and a head weighing between 6 and 8 kg. While one manipulates the head, the other deals with the tail and the rest of the body. With Lion Dance Singapore the deals become different.
It is in 2019 that Fabrice Chan, restorer in the “civil life”, begins to practice the dance of the lion. However, he has already acquired the necessary experience to be able to train beginner and intermediate levels by training tirelessly and making many trips to Asia to improve. “When I was thirty, I wanted to get back to where I came from, it was a good time, and now it has become very important in my life.”
Several styles for lion dance
Somewhat nostalgic, Fabrice remembers his first New Year spent under the colorful costume of a lion: At the end of a day we had danced from morning to night, we went to a business in a small town. The meeting. We were all tired, and I felt like I was nil. But once the dance was over, I saw the owner of the shop burst into tears. Seeing the reaction of this old gentleman who could have been my grandfather, it really convinced me to continue. “
In the Chinese tradition, lion dance is essential at two times of the year: New Year and Guan Di, in summer. Nearly every region of China has its own legend about the origin of this tradition, but everyone agrees that this dance drives away evil spirits.
Appeared almost 2,000 years ago, lion dance today is divided into several styles. The one practiced in the Ping Sheng Association is the Hok San, a more modern style. The latter tries to imitate as much as possible the movements of a lion, so that it looks as real and alive as possible.
- And contrary to what one might think, the lion dance is not a fixed practice: it is constantly evolving. Thus, the teachers of schools and associations have a habit of finding each year their master to inquire new movements.
In a room adjoined to the temple and which serves as a place of activity for various associations, the elders also dance. Quietly, they indulge in online dancing. Some go out to take the air on the stoop of the temple adorned with red. They benevolently watch the young jump in the air, bend and twirl to give life to the lions.