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Acrobatic performance a big draw in Malaysia

01-31-2014 18:57 BJT Special Report: 2014 Spring Festival |

We go now to Malaysia, where immigrants from China first brought the lion dance generations ago. Since then it has evolved into its own distinct and highly acrobatic performance. As Malaysia’s Chinese celebrate the lunar new year, lion dance troupes in the country are in high demand, as a festive form of entertainment for both locals and visitors.

It is as much a fixture of Chinese New Year celebrations in Malaysia as Mandarin oranges and the colour red. This style of Lion Dance originated in Southern China, to where most Chinese here trace their ancestry.

It’s become part of Malaysia’s national culture, featuring at major events, and loved by people of all races.

It’s also a big drawing card for businesses at this time of year.

And top of the list are lion dance performances.

Over the decades, mimicking the lion’s movements and even facial expressions has taken on increasing importance, as have displays of balance and acrobatic skill.

"You have to see if you are compatible with your partner, if your bodies can work together. Then you can do the stunts. If you aren’t in sync, there’s no way you can do it.” Ser Yoong Shong, lion dance performer, said.

At this time of year the performances for popular troupes come thick and fast.

"Including the schools, malls and houses, I think it’s more than 100 during Chinese new year, yes, almost 100. Every day from the morning to the night.”Said Ho Pei Jiun, Wen Ding Jun Jing Troupe.

This troupe has an all-ethnic Indian percussion section...showing the lion dance’s cross-over appeal.

It’s also a hit with tourists, even those who’ve seen who’ve seen performances elsewhere.

"I thought it was great. It was probably one of the best lion dances I’ve ever seen. Very professional, very acrobatic. Everything was good. The kids had a great time.” American tourist Mike Duong said.

"It was great. They were really good, dancing on the poles. And then they jumped over them and they didn’t even fall.”Norwegian tourist Ane and Krisitin Vatn Austad said.

The performances end with one final acrobatic flourish.

Editor:James |Source: CCTV.com

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