Dance:Lion Dance10.26 15:00 | 10.27 14:00/16:00  Xiong Foxi Building Front Square| Basketball Court

LION DANCE – Performing Traditional Dance in a Modern Way

From martial arts to dance, a new perspective to contemporary dance


Traditional lion dance incorporates such elements of Chinese culture as kung fu, feng shui formations, acting masks, traditional costumes, dance and drama. From a modern perspective, lion dance, which appeared earlier than the concept of “contemporary art”, is definitely its prototype.

LION DANCE marries traditional skills with contemporary dance concepts, redefining and paying tribute to the lion dance culture in a form of public art. This also reflects the elasticity of combining contemporary dance and art with traditional skills, in line with the trend of international contemporary art.

The cross-disciplinary team work their magic on new, unique elements that evolved from traditional folk art, creating a contemporary Hong Kong-style lion dance that is an exciting martial arts-dance crossover:

◆   They use the techniques of personification and objectification typical of lion dance to add a contemporary touch to the “characters”. Young choreographers, lion dance performers and tricking athletes demonstrate difficult stunts, such as “human pyramid” and “plum blossom piles”. The theatrical setting effectively shows the essence of traditional lion dance moves.



◆   The gong-and-drum sequences of traditional Chinese music and lion dance are rearranged in a contemporary way, with the addition of electronica, interactive audio-visual installation and live music.  Together they bring audiences into a reimagination of lion dance and lion dance theatre from a contemporary perspective, taking them on an oscillation between traditional and experimental music.

◆   The southern-style Chinese lion dance, which showcases colourful and fierce appearances, takes reference from masks of Cantonese Opera. The dance is led by a ‘Big-headed Buddha’with a fan in hand who performs interesting and surprising feats. The site-specific choreography of lion dance fully utilises the space surrounding the audience, enthralling them with lion dance moves such as “preparing for action”, “emergence from the cave”, “cross the mountains”, “pluck the greens”, “jump on piles” and “hike up the terrace”. Contemporary choreography and performing skills bring lion dance theatre into the modern context, blurring the boundary between the traditional and the contemporary, and broadening the imagination of lion dance culture.