See how the performers used their body to create formations while
moving the dragon in the air!
The dragon is a cultural symbol of the Chinese and most people’s encounter with a Chinese Dragon is through the dragon dance.
The dragon dance involves a dragon structure connected to poles held by the dragon dance performers. The dragon can be made from various materials although the cloth dragon is the most common.
Dragon dance performance
During a performance, the performers twist and turn the poles to simulate a dragon drifting, flying and charging in the air or chasing a flaming pearl accompanied by drum beats and gongs.
A performance can include several dragons in different colors and often occur together with lion dancers.
Dragon dance and team work
An excellent dragon dance performance
by non-Chinese performers.
Cultural diversity at work!
Unlike the lion dance, the dragon dance is a more complicated art form and requires more training and management. Mistakes can occur during a performance if performers have not developed team work and co ordination with each other or with another dragon.
Even with team work and co ordination, the team needs to be able to move the dragon expertly and smoothly to deliver a realistic performance giving audience an impression of a dragon with strength and vitality.
As a result of these challenges, a successful dragon dance team requires all members to commit many hours of training not to mention hard work. The most likely organizations to have this ability are usually the clan associations, schools, martial arts schools or professional dragon dance organizations.
Each institution will have their logos and colors and these teams may sometimes compete against each other during competitions and even for opportunities to perform.
Dragon dance performances
Dragon dance performances occur during auspicious occasions, religious celebrations, and festivals especially the Chinese New Year. Although less common, it can also be used to welcome very important guests to an event.
In most Chinatowns, the dragon dance and lion dance are a must during Chinese New Year and Mid Autumn celebrations and attracts large crowds with their gongs and bells.
The next time you watch a dragon dance performance, observe the co ordination between performers and you can imagine the amount of hard work they invested. Each successful performance deserves a warm round of applause to motivate performers and to encourage them to reach new heights.