Posts Tagged ‘chinese lion dance’

Chinese Lion Dance

July 12, 2009

There’s nothing like stripping percussive performance back to its bear bones, and the Chinese Lion Dance is an excellent example. I was lucky enough to catch this one today (video below) in a little village in the south of England, performed by the Waterside Lion Dance Club, who created a polished, energetic display in the middle of a drab, wet afternoon.

The percussion is traditional – a drum, a gong and a couple of cymbals. It’s simple, repetitive and mesmeric. The last time something as raw as this captured my attention was years ago in Zimbabwe. Lying in a field one afternoon I watched some kids come out of a school nearby with a few oil drums and sticks. Most of them formed up, and spontaneously sprung into action, dancing perfectly in sync to the pounding, impressive rhythm in the background. I wish I’d recorded it – I do have a photo though. I’ll see if I can dig it out.

Anyway, it all serves to remind me that talent is much more important than expensive kit. A well played collection of saucepans is more entertaining than a badly played Tama Imperialstar.

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