By Villamor Visaya, Jr.
TUGUEGARAO CITY – Strutting their stuff in their colorful attires, performers of lion and dragon dances wowed the crowd with their performances as they celebrated early Chinese New Year in a mall here on Wednesday evening.
Student performers swayed like real lions and dragons as they presented the traditional dance, a common event in Chinese culture and other Asian countries in which performers mimic a lion’s movements in a costume, apparently to bring good luck and fortune.
The Chinese lion dance is performed by two dancers, one of whom manipulates the head while the other moves the rear end. To show the courting and mating periods, two lion heads performed during the affair.
The lion dance’s basic movements can be traced to Chinese martial arts and performed to a dynamic drumbeat.
The dragon dance, on the other hand, is performed by several people who hold the long sinuous body of the dragon on poles. It is played by a team of experienced dancers who manipulate a long flexible giant puppet of a dragon using poles positioned at regular intervals along the length of the dragon.
The dance team simulates the imagined movements of this river spirit in a sinuous, undulating manner.
“We practiced hard to show the best performance for our lion and dragon dances. We are glad that we got an outstanding ovation,” said 14-year-old Denise Samantha Chua, one of the performers from Santiago City.
The lion dance is usually performed during the Lunar New Year and other traditional, cultural, and religious festivals. It is also performed during important occasions, such as business opening events, special celebrations, or wedding ceremonies, or may be used to honor special guests by the Chinese communities.
Just like the lion dance, the dragon dance is also believed to symbolize power, dignity, fertility, wisdom, and auspiciousness. (PNA)