Chinese Lion Dance

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Chinese Lion Dance

Chinese Lion Dance performance for Chinese New Years, special guests, business grand openings, birthdays, parties, weddings, holidays, public gatherings, & social events.

Rates

  • 1 Lion (5 Performers)
    • 2 people dancing with the Lion, 1 person playing the Lion Drum, 1 person playing the symbols, and 1 person playing the gong
    • $500 + traveling fee of $10/mile (10 min performance) + Parking fees if applicable
    • Certificate of Insurance if required is an additional $105 – $165 fee
  • 1 Lion (3 Performers)
    • 2 people dancing with Lion & 1 person playing the Lion Drum
    • $400 + traveling fee of $10/mile (10 min performance) + Parking fees if applicable
    • Certificate of Insurance if required is an additional $105 – $165 fee
  • 2 Lions (7 Performers)
    • 4 people dancing with 2 Lions, 1 person playing the Lion Drum, 1 person playing the symbols, and 1 person playing the gong
    • $700 + traveling fee of $10/mile (10 min performance) + Parking fees if applicable
    • Certificate of Insurance if required is an additional $105 – $165 fee
  • Traveling fee is calculated by the distance from 1642 W. Howard St. Chicago, IL 60626 to the event location.

Reservations

  • We require a deposit of half of the total cost of the performance no less than 14 days prior to the event.
  • You have to cancel at least 7 days prior to the event to receive your deposit back minus processing fees and $50 if you have required a Certificate of Insurance for your event.
  • We require the remaining balance of the payment upon arrival to the event before the performance is to begin. (PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, Quickpay, check, cash, or credit accepted)

 


Chinese Lion Dance History

Chinese Lion dance is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culturein which performers mimic a lion’s movements in a lion costume to bring good luck, fortune and prosperity. The Cantonese way you say Lion Dance is Mo Si.  The Lion dance is associated with Buddhism and traditionally it was used to drive evil spirits away.

The Lion is used by schools with an established Kung Fu Master or Sifu.  The dancers are usually martial art members of the local kung fu school. In general, it is seen that if a school has a capable troupe with many ‘lions’, it demonstrates the success of the school.

The lion dance is usually performed during the Chinese New Year and other Chinese traditional, cultural and religious festivals. It may also be performed at important occasions such as business opening events, special celebrations or wedding ceremonies, or may be used to honour special guests by the Chinese communities.

Performances can be divided into civil and Martial Styles.  The civil styles emphasizes the character and mimics the behavior of the Lion.  While the Martial Style focuses on acrobatics and energetic movements.

Chinese lion dance fundamental movements can be found in the Chinese martial arts.  Each Kung Fu School will typically have a Lion dance team which incorporates 2 people dancing as the Lion and 3 people playing the musical instruments, which include the Lion drum, symbols, and gong.

There are specific stances that the lion will use which are also the stances used in combat training within the Martial Arts. These stances include the Horse stance, arrow stance, cat stance, and cross stance.  Each student who learns to dance with the lion has to have a high level of athleticism and energy to bring the Lion to life.  As each student progresses in their Kung Fu training, they should naturally progress with their ability to dance with the Lion.

The playing of the lion drum requires a lot of power with traditional Chinese style drumming rhythm and expression.  Energy from the core of the drummer should be activated to drive down power into the drum from a horse stance position.

There are many different traditional Chinese style rhythms that need to be learned that can take many years to master.  Each drummer will eventually develop his own unique style of drumming to wake and move the Lion in which to bring the Lion to life.  There needs to be a synergy of energy that harmonizes between the drummer, cymbal player, gong player, and lion dancers.  The Lion dancers have to learn to move and dance to the rhythms of the drummer.

Traditionally the Lion drum was used as a powerful war drum to alert soldiers of enemies approaching. The drum is designed to be used with an immense amount of power from the standing position using two sticks to hit down into the drum.

There are two main forms of the Chinese lion dance, the Northern Lion and the Southern Lion. Both forms are commonly found in China, but around the world the Southern Lion predominates which is the Lion that you see us using today. Other forms of lion dance exist around the world but they consist of different styles of Lions that are distinctly different than the Southern Lion and also different with other types of musical instruments used for its performance.

It is the Chinese Southern Lion that has become the most famous and can even be found in many Chinese Martial Arts movies including Enter the Dragon and Once Upon a Time in China.

Different colors are used to signify the age and character of the lions. The lion with white fur is considered to be the oldest of the lions, while the lion with golden yellow fur is the middle child. The black lion is considered the youngest lion.    The colors also represent the character of the lion: the golden lion represents liveliness, the red lion courage, and the green lion friendship.