Monthly Archives: February 2012

KTSF 26 Golden Gate Fields – Lion Dance Competition

So Ryan tells me about this lion dance competition going on in the Bay area a couple days ago. Now, you know I haven’t practiced lion dancing or wushu for a long time now. Was planning on just catching up on work today, but Ryan convinced me to go check it.

The event was presented by KTSF26 (a local television station with Chinese programming) and Golden Gate Fields (a horse racing track in Berkeley). This lion dance competition included three lion dance teams from around the Bay: Yau Kung Moon, Hung Sing, and Rising Phoenix.

Yau Kung Moon started the competition using a beautiful silver, lime green highlight, white fur lion. Their performance apparatus was a pair of high benches and a pot.
Yau Kung Moon Lion Dance

Next up was Hung Sing, with a black, gold highlight, red fur lion. Their performance apparatus was a large bucket.
Hung Sing Ling Dance

Last up was Rising Phoenix, with what seemed to be an identical looking lion as Hung Sing. They are infact two separate lions, but with a very similar look. Details on the head separate them apart. Their performance apparatus was a large bottle, in which they used to do a drunken lion act.
Rising Phoenix Lion Dance

There were plenty of kids in attendance for the lion dancing and other crafts. There were painters available to hand paint and write calligraphy on fans, animal balloons being made for kids, as well as other dance and Chinese musical performances. Since this was $1 day at Golden Gate Fields, I imagine there were people here for the horse racing and cheap food and drinks as well. And hearing the beating of the drum gathered a decent size crowd. Being the fatty that I am, I was enticed to get a couple of the dollar hot dogs. 🙂

As for the competition, the results are as follows:

  1. First Place: Yau Kung Moon
  2. Second Place: Rising Phoenix
  3. Third Place: Hung Sing

To view entire photo gallery for this event, check out the Photos page.

  • KTSF26 Golden Gate Fields Lion Dance Competition
KTSF26 Golden Gate Fields Lion Dance Competition

This was a lion dance competition between three Bay Area lion dance teams. Presented by KTSF26 and Golden Gate Fields. Teams competing include: Yau Kung Moon, Hung Sing, and Rising Phoenix

Video clips of the performances to come, so stay tuned! 🙂

Portraying a Lion’s Age

The concept of portraying a lion’s age was first mentioned to me several years ago. At the time, it didn’t appeal to me greatly, so I just hid the concept in the back of my head. But after the Hoi Gong ceremony for Chris Low’s newly restored lion, the concept suddenly sparked into my mind again as I watched Yogi Tam, Vincent Chan, and a younger member playing with the lion head. If incorporated correctly and creatively, portraying a lion’s age would be an impressive aspect of a performance.

We all know that our hair turns white as we grow older. The concept of a lion’s age is based off of this – a black-haired lion is young, while a white-haired lion is old. Notice that I said hair, not fur. In my opinion, lion heads with ram fur or other types of fluffy fur all look about the same age. On the other hand, white-bristle haired lions tend to look older then black-bristle haired lions. With that said, it would be proper for a black-haired lion head to be portrayed as young and energetic, while a white-haired lion should be portrayed as wise and civilized.

A black-haired lion’s movements should be fast, powerful, energetic, “wild”, snappy, etc. The video below shows these descriptions. The first person (up to 7 seconds) is a younger member of The Immortals team, while the second person is Vincent Chan.

A white-haired lion’s movements should be more refined, classy, well-mannered, etc. The video below shows these descriptions. Yogi Tam is dancing the lion for the duration of the video.

It’s interesting how a person’s age may play a role in the age of the lion. Notice that the younger member’s style is the most “wild” out of the three, while Vincent and Yogi’s styles are far more refined and controlled.

Since lion dancing is a form of storytelling, the appearance of both a black-haired lion and a white-haired lion in a performance would be greatly enhanced with the additional detail in portraying the lion’s age. If incorporated well, the full story can be told with a new dimension.