Vids: Lion dance, 4th Feb 2011, Chengdu

Chinese Lion Dance

Lion Dance (to ward off evil spirits, and summon fortune and good luck) in Chengdu city centre, 4th Feb 2011
http://www.chcp.org/lion.html
Chinese Lion
The Chinese Lion Dance goes back some one thousand years. The first record of the performance of an early form of the Lion Dance dates to the early Ch’n and Han Dynasties (Third Century B.C.)
The lions express joy and happiness. From the fourth day to the fifteenth of the New Year, lion dance groups would tour from village to village in traditional China.
Both lions and dragons figure in New Year’ Parades and other celebrations throughout the year. The Lion Dance also plays an important role in the consecration of temples and other building, at business openings, planting and harvest times, official celebrations, and religious rites. There are even Lion Dance competitions featuring troupes from countries as far from China as Mexico.
The northern lion has a mane and four legs and is generally more realistic than the southern lion, which has a drape and can have two or four legs. One performer holds the lion’ head with both hands and another crouches at the lion’ tail. The southern lion’ head looks is shaped more like a dragon’ but its without horns or a long snout. The southern lion makes dramatic head thrusts to the sound of drums and gongs; the northern lion makes great use of its prancing legs in its dance.
From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_dance
The story goes that once upon a time a monk had a dream in which there were many sorrows and evils plaguing the land. The monk prayed and asked the gods how he could prevent these evils from occurring. The gods told him that a lion would protect them and fight back the evils. The Chinese people had never see a lion before, but had heard stories that the lion was the king of all the other animals, so the monk combined all the lucky or magical animals he could think of and so made a lion.
If you look closely at any lion, you can see a red sash tied on its horn. It is told that the lion got too arrogant and told the gods that he was more powerful than all of them combined. This of course caused the gods to get very angry, so as a punishment they chopped off his horn (the source of his power) and told him to fight off a thousand evils without his power. The lion of course couldn’t and people were dying because the lion couldn’t protect them from the evils. The Goddess of Mercy (Guan Yin) felt bad for him so she tied his horn back on with a red sash.
Lion dances can be broadly categorised into three styles, Chinese Northern (北狮 [běishī]), Chinese Southern (, 南狮[nánshī]), and Taiwanese (, 台湾狮 [Táiwānshī]). The Chinese Northern dance was used as entertainment for the imperial court and elsewhere. The northern lion is usually red, orange and yellow (sometimes with green fur for the female lion), shaggy in appearance, with a golden head. The northern dance is acrobatic and may include dangerous stunts.
The Chinese Southern dance is more symbolic. It is usually performed as a ceremony to scare away evil spirits and to summon luck and fortune. The Chinese southern lion exhibits a wide variety of colour and has a distinctive head with large eyes (of an eagle), a mirror on the forehead (demons are supposedly scared of their own reflection), and a single horn at center of the head (the horn of a unicorn mentioned earlier). Lion dance costumes are considered to be spiritually protective when used as they are traditionally blessed before usage.
The Taiwanese dance integrates with martial arts. The focus on martial arts is very different from the Chinese southern dance whose fancy style is more suitable for circuit shows. In addition to dance steps, the differences between the Taiwanese and the Chinese Southern dances lie in the lion appearance and music. Unlike the Chinese Southern lion whose eyes and mouth can be moved, the Taiwanese lion is less elaborate and can be roughly divided into two categories: open-mouth lion (開口獅 – kāikǒushī) and closed-mouth lion (閉口獅 – bìkǒushī).

Wikipedia…
Chinese Lion
The Chinese Lion Dance goes back some one thousand years. The first record of the performance of an early form of the Lion Dance dates to the early Ch’n and Han Dynasties (Third Century B.C.)
The lions express joy and happiness. From the fourth day to the fifteenth of the New Year, lion dance groups would tour from village to village in traditional China.
Both lions and dragons figure in New Year’ Parades and other celebrations throughout the year. The Lion Dance also plays an important role in the consecration of temples and other building, at business openings, planting and harvest times, official celebrations, and religious rites. There are even Lion Dance competitions featuring troupes from countries as far from China as Mexico.
The northern lion has a mane and four legs and is generally more realistic than the southern lion, which has a drape and can have two or four legs. One performer holds the lion’ head with both hands and another crouches at the lion’ tail. The southern lion’ head looks is shaped more like a dragon’ but its without horns or a long snout. The southern lion makes dramatic head thrusts to the sound of drums and gongs; the northern lion makes great use of its prancing legs in its dance.
From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_danceThe story goes that once upon a time a monk had a dream in which there were many sorrows and evils plaguing the land. The monk prayed and asked the gods how he could prevent these evils from occurring. The gods told him that a lion would protect them and fight back the evils. The Chinese people had never see a lion before, but had heard stories that the lion was the king of all the other animals, so the monk combined all the lucky or magical animals he could think of and so made a lion.If you look closely at any lion, you can see a red sash tied on its horn. It is told that the lion got too arrogant and told the gods that he was more powerful than all of them combined. This of course caused the gods to get very angry, so as a punishment they chopped off his horn (the source of his power) and told him to fight off a thousand evils without his power. The lion of course couldn’t and people were dying because the lion couldn’t protect them from the evils. The Goddess of Mercy (Guan Yin) felt bad for him so she tied his horn back on with a red sash.Lion dances can be broadly categorised into three styles, Chinese Northern (??), Chinese Southern (??), and Taiwanese (???). The Chinese Northern dance was used as entertainment for the imperial court and elsewhere. The northern lion is usually red, orange and yellow (sometimes with green fur for the female lion), shaggy in appearance, with a golden head. The northern dance is acrobatic and may include dangerous stunts.The Chinese Southern dance is more symbolic. It is usually performed as a ceremony to scare away evil spirits and to summon luck and fortune. The Chinese southern lion exhibits a wide variety of colour and has a distinctive head with large eyes (of an eagle), a mirror on the forehead (demons are supposedly scared of their own reflection), and a single horn at center of the head (the horn of a unicorn mentioned earlier). Lion dance costumes are considered to be spiritually protective when used as they are traditionally blessed before usage.The Taiwanese dance integrates with martial arts. The focus on martial arts is very different from the Chinese southern dance whose fancy style is more suitable for circuit shows. In addition to dance steps, the differences between the Taiwanese and the Chinese Southern dances lie in the lion appearance and music. Unlike the Chinese Southern lion whose eyes and mouth can be moved, the Taiwanese lion is less elaborate and can be roughly divided into two categories: open-mouth lion (開口獅 – kāikǒushī) and closed-mouth lion (閉口獅 – bìkǒushī).

No information found on the ‘loin dance’.