Countdown: D-9 A Bit About Lion Dance


Lion dance, or Múa Lân in Vietnamese, is one of the many popular Vietnamese traditional dances. Lion dance originated in China, but it was adopted by Vietnamese. Vietnam was not the only country that adopted the dance. Many East and Southeast Asian countries also integrated it as a part of their cultures as well.

Vietnamese people call Lion dance “Múa Lân,” which is not the exact translation of the term “Lion dance.” Lân is a mythical creature in Vietnamese folklore, associated with high prestige and prosperity. That is why Lion Dance is often performed during New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival and many other festival in Vietnam.

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A little bit about Cal VSA Lion Dance Team: “the team was reborn in 2008, with the blue and purple lion pair named Mon & Soon. Since then, we have grown outside of just our annual large production Culture Show, currently performing all around the Bay Area while doubling our member count, and more than tripling our lion count! We are motivated by the opportunities to spread the art and Southeast Asian culture in an area where lion dancing is not so popular. We are also motivated in maintaining the values embedded in the art: respect, discipline, and camaraderie.” (from the Lion Dance Team Introduction). Here are some footage of past performances.                          

(Lion Dance Team, PC: Amy Pham)

Huy Ha, one of the Lion Dance Coordinators talks about his experience: “I‘ve lion danced for 7 years, so lion dancing is near and dear to my heart. For the first time, I’ve had the chance to experiment with the new modern style of lion dancing, and I’m happy with the end product. As a team, we’ve worked really hard to get where we are, and I hope that the audience members will appreciate the effort that went into our performance!

Fun fact, the word “Lân” can also mean unicorn.

Sources:

https://clubs.ncsu.edu/vsa/www/festivals/tet/mualan.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_dance

 

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