It was a pleasant surprise for all of the guests at the American Airlines terminal recently. As a special commemoration, American Airlines treated everyone at the Lax Los Angeles International Airport with a Lion Dance Performance. People quickly started recording on their telephones capturing photographs and videos from every angle. The performance was a very last minute assembly to commemorate a special occasion. Please take a look at some of the videos and photographs attached to this blog.
Lion dance (simplified Chinese: 舞狮; traditional Chinese: 舞獅; pinyin: wǔshī) is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture and other Asian countries in which performers mimic a lion’s movements in a lion costume. 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 honor special guests by the Chinese communities.
The Chinese lion dance is sometimes mistakenly referred to as dragon dance. An easy way to tell the difference is that a lion is normally operated by two dancers, while a dragon needs many people. Also, in a lion dance, the performers’ faces are only seen occasionally, since they are inside the lion. In a dragon dance, the performers’ faces can be easily seen since the dragon is held on poles. Chinese lion dance fundamental movements can be found in most Chinese martial arts.
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 especially in South East Asia, the Southern Lion predominates as it was spread by the Chinese diaspora communities who are historically mostly of Southern Chinese origin. Versions of the lion dance are also found in Japan, Korea, Tibet and Vietnam. Another form of lion dance exists in Indonesian culture, but it may be of a different tradition and can be referred to as Singa Barong.
There has been an old tradition in China of dancers wearing masks to resemble animals or mythical beasts since antiquity, and performances described in ancient texts such as Shujing where wild beasts and phoenix danced may have been masked dances. In Qin Dynasty sources, dancers performing exorcism rituals were described as wearing bearskin mask, and it was also mentioned in Han Dynasty texts that “mime people” (象人) performed as fish, dragons, and phoenixes. However, lion is not native to China, and the Lion Dance therefore has been suggested to have originated outside of China from countries such as India or Persia, and introduced via Central Asia. According to ethnomusicologist Laurence Picken, the Chinese word for lion itself, shi (獅, written as 師 in the early periods), may have been derived from the Persian word šer. The earliest use of the word shizi meaning lion first appeared in Han Dynasty texts and had strong association with Central Asia (an even earlier but obsolete term for lion was suanni (狻麑 or 狻猊)), and lions were presented to the Han court by emissaries from Central Asia and the Parthian Empire. Detailed descriptions of Lion Dance appeared during the Tang Dynasty and it was already recognized by writers and poets then as a foreign dance, however, Lion dance may have been recorded in China as early as the third century AD where “lion acts” were referred to by a Three Kingdoms scholar Meng Kang (孟康) in a commentary on Hanshu. In the early periods it had association with Buddhism: it was recorded in a Northern Wei text, Description of Buddhist Temples in Luoyang (洛陽伽藍記), that a parade for a statue of Buddha of a temple was led by a lion to drive away evil spirits.
Wushu Shaolin Entertainment is revered for producing the most professional Chinese cultural live showcases. One of the most revered productions features our very unique Chinese Dragon Dance costume which was recently featured for the Walt Disney Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Center.
In addition to the Chinese Dragon Dance Costume, we have a wide selection of unique Lion Dance costumes that meet the highest standards in exellence.
Legend of the Dragon is one of our finest attractions, blending chinese artistry with rich cinematic music and production elements. To book a show today please visit us online.
Wushu Shaolin Entertainment was invited to perform the traditional Chinese Lion Dance on behalf of the Brookdale Senior Living Center in Yorba Linda, California. The presentation featured the premier Chinese Lion Dance team in the industry and a unique Internal Kung Fu performance known as Taiji or Taichi for the residents of Brookdale.
There is nothing more compelling than inspiring humanity to develop the courage of a lion and accomplish great success in life. For countless generations the lion dance has been a symbol of courage and hope during times of uncertainty. Wushu Shaolin Entertainment is proud to continue passing down the traditions handed down for so many generations.
Wushu Shaolin Entertainment is world renowned for producing International Chinese Cultural showcases featuring the most creative cultural artisans in the industry. The team has performed in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai, and throughout the United States for countless distinguished guests. Each show takes months of preparation combining music, dance, Wushu, Shaolin Kung Fu, and elaborate Chinese Cultural Costumes.
The live show production company offers professional Lion Dance, Dragon Dance, and Wushu Shaolin Kung Fu performances. Each show features the leading Chinese Cultural Artisans in the industry to provide clients with the most professional demonstration troupe in the world. Current performers include Shaolin Temple Kung Fu Monks, Black Belt Martial Artist, and industry standard Lion and Dragon
For international clients interested in booking a Shaolin Warriors Live Showcase, Lion Dance, or Dragon Dance performance, please contact Wushu Shaolin Entertainment today.