January 27, 2004: The Lion Dance

For Chinese New Year, the streets of Chinatown in London saw lions and dragons dancing, accompanied by drummers and cymbals for rythm, and police to make way in the crowds.

The lion dance combines art, history and kung fu moves. Normally the performers are kung fu practitioners. Every kind of move has a specific musical rhythm. The music follows the moves of the lion: the drum follows the lion, the cymbals and the gong follow the drum player.

Quite often people observing the dances think that they are looking at dragons. The main difference between lion dance and dragon dance is that the latter is performed with more people than two.
(Source: The Kingdom of Lions)

Outside each house and restaurant, the lions perform a ceremonial dance, and try to catch a cabbage and the little red envelope of lucky money the inhabitants has mounted on a fishing rod and keep trying to fish almost out of reach...

During the dance, the Dragon [/Lion] may try to catch money offered by spectators. Larger amount of money is usually held higher. But it is bad luck to hold the money out of reach. When money is held very high, as when offered from upstairs window, performers may stand on one another's shoulders to "climb walls."
(Source: China Globe)

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Additional stock photography keys: London, People, lion, dragon, silk, dance, costume, fancy, dress, kung-fu, artist, artists, china, chinese, taiwan,

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