I discovered a local talent competition being held - I believe it was called 'Festival of Taiwan' - with a wide variety of acts focusing on talent and cultural traditions. After I had walked the full length of the department store areas, passed a few stages with traditional dress fashion competitions, singing groups, dancers, etc. and was about to turn around... the last stage I approached had a group of young men stepping up to begin their act. The guys each had a drum and were beating those drums like mad! (Sometimes I wish I could convey smells and sound effects on my blog - this is one of those times) It was captivating.
|Wish you could hear the beat, but you'll have to settle for the picture and your imagination!|
I was admiring their shimmering costumes (pants) and wondering why they went to such wardrobe trouble if they weren't really dancing? When they finished a few minutes of extremely intense drumming (all sweating by this point), 4 of the guys left the stage and the remaining two began another song. I didn't realize that the ones who left were simply performing a costume change to come back as... Chinese lions!!!
Chinese lion dances are very traditional, and I would expect to see such a performance during the holidays, but stumbling upon this performance today was unexpected and it made my entire weekend! The photos won't do them justice, but the show was awesome! I couldn't pull my eyes away... and I am not the only one. The entire audience was entranced and overjoyed by the dance. Each of the lions is comprised of two guys and one costume, moving in harmony. Even though I'm sure this traditional dancing has always been held dear, my guess is that it probably becomes more precious with time as some cultural traditions begin to fade with the younger generations. I was personally impressed with these men for learning the art of Chinese lion dancing. They were wonderful! Here are some of the pics...
|They lollygagged, wagged thier tails, batted thier eyelashes, and scratched behind thier ears like a puppy dog|
|They wove through the crowds and pretended to eat the small children ;)|
[This was obviously an intense workout for the dancers themselves!]
|They made my day - they were fabulous. :)|