The Jiu Long Troupe will be an anticipated attraction at this year's Chinese New Year Festival on Feb. 17 at Klyde Warren Park. The group brings a historically significant story to their performance. Here are things you need to know about the Jiu Long Troupe, their performance and the festival.
It may be the Year of the Dog but the Jiu Long Troupe is all about the lion. Traditionally, the dance can be performed in various styles of lion or dragon costumes choreographed to booming instruments and firecrackers to ward off evil spirits and bring luck and fortune throughout the year.
Though is it common for the lion dance performers to have a martial arts background, the Jiu Long Troupe are strictly performers with some stunts that can be somewhat scary. Their performances are a combination of traditional and modern moves that contributes to their energetic performance.
Although the dance can be performed in a lion or dragon costume, the Jiu Long Troupe performs a lion dance. The difference is that the lion dance has two performers under one costume, while the dragon has multiple. Musical instruments are an important part of the choreography and the synchronized thunder from the drums represent the tempo and the lion's heartbeat during the performance.
You can't find lion costumes off the local shelves of any Asian stores. The Jiu Long Troupe believes the best and most beautiful lion costumes come from Malaysia and there's even a distinctive look from the northern and southern costumes. Their commitment to this art takes them directly to the source to select and pick up their costume where tradition is taken seriously from a strong community of supporters of this art.
The Jiu Long Troupe is a volunteer-based group that doesn't turn a profit for their time and performances. The donations are reinvested into equipment, meals and offered to temples. So, when you're in the face of the lion, "feed" it with the red envelope with money for good luck! Their reward comes from performing, spreading the culture and seeing the smile of spectators.
This year's Chinese New Year Festival will also include food, art activities and fun for the entire family. And since it's the Year of the Dog, you can bring your pups along too for portraits and pampering. The festival will even feature a new Zodiac Zoo with dog rescues just in case you're in need of a furry friend. Be sure to wear some red for good fortune and joy and have a great time at this free, family friendly event.