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Monday, March 28, 2011

Chinese Dragon Dance

The history of the Dragon Dance can be dated back to the Han Dynasty (180-230 AD).The Chinese show great respect towards the dragon, and have always referred themselves as being Descendants of the Dragon as a sign of ethnic identity.

The Dragon itself has always been regarded as a Sacred creature, symbolising power, courage, righteousness and dignity.

A Dragon Dance requires many dancers due to its sheer size and length. The number of dancers vary depending on a number of factors, including human resources, financial power, skills and the space available. The size can range from the recommended 112 feet (9 people) or more.

Chinese Dragon itself is a long serpent shaped body on poles, assembled by joining the series of hoops on each section and attaching the ornamental head and tail pieces at the ends.  

Chinese Dragons can range in length from around 25 to 35 meters for the more acrobatic models, and up to 50 to 70 meters for the largest.

Traditionally,  Chinese Dragons were constructed of wood, with bamboo hoops on the inside and covered with a rich fabric, however in the modern era lighter materials such as aluminium and plastics have replaced the wood and heavy material
Chinese Dragons are linked to good luck, long life and wisdom.Chinese Dragons are associated with storm clouds and life-giving rain.

Chinese Dragon dances are performed at New Year(Chinese New Year falls on different dates each year, a date between January 21 and February 20) to scare away evil spirits. During the dance the performers hold poles and raise and lower the Dragon
Every Chinese New Year Parade ends with a Dragon Dance. The parades start on New Year's Day and continue for the next 15 days until the end of the festivities with the Lantern Festival.
 In China the dragon is held in high esteem for its supernatural power, goodness, fertility, vigilance and poise.
In the dragon dance, a team of dancers carry the image of dragon on poles. The lead dancers of the troupe lift, dip, thrust, and sweep the head which may display animated features controlled by a dancer.