I was so excited showing my presentation for the board meeting of the upcoming episodes of “The Great Magician“! The idea of bringing an actual dragon to the stage would be so awesome as it is a legendary creature in Chinese mythology and I have never done anything like this before.
However, the producers looked at me strangely; the photos in my presentation showed two images of the scary creature. Well, as I found out during our discussion.. One was a dragon and the other is a lion! What? Those are two different creatures? Of course, when I look at it now.. it is really different.
For the festivals, the Dragon costume is held on sticks by number of dancers but the Lion costume hides 2 dancers inside of it! The Lion dance usually includes it’s tamer as well who plays with the lion, using a ball, like the way you will play with a kitten. And that’s where I come into the picture.
The Lion tamer’s dance is based on some Tai Chi moves, combined and carefully choreographed with the two dancers, hidden inside of the Lion outfit. Both the front and the back dancer of the lion have to be capable of two, completely different technique! The back of the lion has to be extremely precise to know everything without seeing, and also very strong. The head dancer have to hold the oversize puppet head and basically multi-task by dancing and controlling the eyes, mouth and ears of the creature. Also will stand on top of the back dancer to escalate to do some amazing moves! (that’s why the back dancer have to be a strong man.)
I was so lucky to see the dance live, and I’m speechless to actually become a “tamer” for this traditional dance! As I found out during the rehearsal, some of the Chinese producers also never seen anything like this before live, in person! So it is traditional, but not as common as you think! Wow! Super awesome! I’m just bummed I couldn’t squeeze a lion into my luggage back to America…
Watch our performance
Watch the full show