Guide to hiring a Lion Dance 舞狮 @ Singapore - - Singapore Lifestyle Portal

Guide to hiring a Lion Dance 舞狮 @ Singapore

Want to hire lion dancers in Singapore?

CNY may soon be over, but this could be a helpful guide for the 2015 CNY celebration. Lion Dance 舞狮 is a famous sight during CNY. It is usually hired to perform at home during CNY, where there are gatherings to liven up the atmosphere. If you are wondering, the above lion boys do not come with the Lion Dance packages.

Where to find the lion dancers?
There are numerous Lion Dance associations with varying degrees of performance. For example, some lions are decked out in traditional gear with matching pants and shoes, whereas the less established troupes will most likely dance in their Asics or Nike shoes. Some lions even come in LED lighting for a night event. Given the numerous option, the best place to start searching for a credible lion dance is through the Singapore Wushu Dragon and Lion Dance Federation.

Simply check out the participating troupes in the National Lion Dance Championship for the best Lion Dancers in town. There are 2 kinds of categories, the freestyle and the traditional types. Freestyle is more suited for those looking for a modern twist, while traditional would be for those who like the old-style lion dancers.

For our performance, we invited the Tian Eng Dragon and lion dance centre for a show. Tian Eng is the traditional category champion for the 2013 National Lion Dance Championship.
Northern vs Southern Lion dance
There are also 2 distinct Lion Dancers, the Northern and the Southern. The lions differ from each other in terms of appearance and performance.

The Northern Lions are more playful in nature. They usually perform in pairs and resemble Fu dogs. The emphasise acrobatic dance and balancing on giant balls.

The Southern lion has a single horn and emphasis on Wushu movements. Most Lion dancers are skilled Kung fu masters. Accompanied by the vigorous drums, its performances would be familiar in most corners of Singapore come CNY.

The Performance
Lion dancers
During CNY, the lion dancers will visit houses to perform the traditional custom of "Cai Qing" 採青. The lion dancers will pluck auspicious green vegetables like lettuce and hang them high up to represent cǎi cái 财. ( plucking fortune) .
The lettuce is usually prepared by the homeowners.

In addition, you can also lay out a plate of oranges, lettuce, Fa Gao( Fortune cake) and other forms of lucky fruits or food for a feast for the Lions.

Do place an Ang pow to reward them for their hard work and for good luck!

If the lions are playful, they will even play with the children.
The lions will eat the "greens" and spit them out for good luck and fortune.
After the performances, the lions usually leave a good luck design from the oranges and a lucky number for the audience.
Want to buy 4 D
Thereafter the owners will be presented with a lucky scroll

How much does to hire Lion Dance?
The rates differ from various troupes. A decent clan may charge $208 upwards for one Lion. $388 for 2 lions to $888 for a combination of 2 lions and a Dragon dance. These days with intense competition, there are even lion dancers who would do a performance for less.

However, standards vary, so it is best to engage a reputable troupe if you want quality performance.
Lion boys
Lion dances can be in enormous demand, especially over CNY, so book early. The lion boys are available for $888 a pair if you are interested. They are undergoing intensive training now and will be ready for 2015 CNY.

One caveat, though, is don't hang your lettuce too high as they may not be able to reach it.

Enjoy your Lion Dance!

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