For the month of April, Hong De trained a group of Melbourne University students from International House to perform a two-lion performance for Cafe Internationale. This is a traditional yearly fund-raising event hosted by the students from IH. The theme of the event this year was 'Wonders of the World'.
The lion dance performance represented China and was performed by students from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and even one from England. There were only two in the group who had some prior experience in lion dance. In the four lessons with Hong De last month, and also extra rehearsals at IH, they managed two performances last week for the event. Funds raised from the event will go to Interplast - an organisation that performs surgery for children in developing nations. Congratulations to Jia Wei and his team for a job well done!
Training sessions at Fusion Dance and International House
Well done to the IH Team!
Lions: Jia Wei, Tim, Han, Kok Keong
Music: Emir, Tet, Chung Yew, Regina, Xing Yi, Katherine
DTF: Jo In
The Lion Dance Learning Experience - by Han Zi Yang
I have always been fascinated by lion dance ever since I was young. I enjoyed watching it so much that my parents would buy me a miniature lion from Chinatown during Chinese New Year. This childhood ambition of mine to perform lion dance was never fulfilled (and I didn’t think it would ever be) until it was announced that there was going to be a Cafe Act on lion dance. We managed to link up with Hong De Lion Dance association, who very kindly agreed to help trained us for our performance! Although Hong De is a relatively new association, it was filled with passionate and experienced instructors and members who were all so willing to share their experience with us. With only about 1-2 months before the actual performance, I joined the act thinking that my partner, Tim and I would only be cymbal players (as most people would be when they first started learning). However to my surprise, Hong De was very willing to try to teach the both us to be the lion from the very first lesson! So technically, Tim and I had to master the lion in only 5 lessons, something which we even doubt we could achieve at first. However, the instructors were all very positive that we could do it and never failed to teach us as much as they can within such a short period of time. Nearing the performance, the instructors were even willing to come down to our place (International House), after their work, to help us organize our performance together. Ensuring our props and obstacles used were safe and our performance could run as smoothly as possible. The instructors were also very willing to accommodate to our requests and suggestions and at many times gave us tips on how to even better our performance. So it was only through a month of training with Hong De that our entire group had to master the music (the cymbals, the gong and the drum) and the lions before performing in front of a large group of audience.
On our very first performance, Cecilia was there to watch the end result of our training. It was decided then, that we should make her our “V.I.P” for the night and let the 2 lions present the oranges to her. It was our way of expressing our gratitude to her and everyone in Hong De. Thank you, Cecilia and everyone in Hong De for making our performance a success. Without u guys, our performance wouldn’t have been possible and we could have never imagined a better response from the audience. All the cheers and claps which we received were the best form of reward that we could have. It has been an amazing journey working with Hong De and picking up lion dance. We all truly enjoyed this experience. Thanks for making my childhood ambition come true. All the claps and cheers which we received that night belong to u guys too! Thanks again for making our lion dance act and International House’s Café 2009 a success.
Han Zi Yang