Chinese Dragon Dance

Danny Xie

Origin

  • Han dynasty 180-230 AD
  • originally part of farming culture
  • used to please ancestors
  • dragon said to bring rain and heal and prevent sickness and hunger
  • original rain god/dragon gives goodness and abundance
  • started by those who showed great belief and respect to dragons
  • now in festivals
  • made of wood, bamboo, and fabric

Why do the Chinese perform dragon dances?

  • bring good luck and prosperity for one year
  • ward away evil spirits

background information on Chinese dragons

  • 4 types:
  • celestial (tian long)- guarded the heavens
  • hidden treasure (fu cang long)- guarded treasures
  • earth (di long)- controlled waterways
  • spirit (shen long)- controlled wind and rain
  • dragons said to create cloud with breath
  • volcanoes said to be created when dragons came out of the ground to report to heaven
  • wise
  • great powers
  • fertility
  • luck
  • authority
  • life
  • source of elements-water, wind, earth, fire
  • horns of stag
  • head of camel
  • ears of cow
  • eyes of rabbit
  • scales of carp

Dragon Dance

When?
  • performed at Chinese new years
  • highlight of new years
  • lunar calendar
The Dragon
  • serpent shaped
  • dragon size can vary
  • typically 9-15 sections long
  • longer creature: more luck
  • sometimes rigged to belch smoke from head
  • made of fabric, aluminum, plastic
  • mainly red, yellow, gold, silver, green
  • red-excitement
  • green-good harvest
  • yellow- dignified empire
  • gold/silver-prosperity
  • made by joining hoops on each section and attaching head and tail on the ends
How?
  • team
  • 8-10 mins
  • hold poles
  • raise and lower dragon
  • lift, dip, thrust, sweep head
  • must cooperate to timing of drum
  • use drum for rhythm and to use loud noise to scare evil spirits and monsters
  • sometimes one person holds pearl of wisdom on pole
  • dragon follow pearl of wisdom
  • symbolizes dragons search for wisdom and knowledge
  • patterns such as: cloud cave, whirlpool, tai-chi, threading the money, looking for pearl, encircling the pillar
Big image
Chinese New Year Dragon Dance

Questions?