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Lion dancers bring added flare in Seychelles float for their February Carnaval International de Victoria

Lion dancers bring added flare in Seychelles float for their February Carnaval International de Victoria ( Lion dancers from the Southern Chinese province of Foshan in Guangdong are in Seychelles to mount choreography with the islands’ youth for a lion dance carnival float. Chinese instructors, Joe aged 20 and his partner Jon 21, are working closely with Chinese instructor, Mrs. Lownam, Vocal National Choir Program to build a strong and dynamic team of locally-trained lion dancers.

Hip hop dancers and youth from the NRA are among the targeted group of young people composing the lion dance carnival float. Since their arrival in the country, Joe and Jon have been constantly liaising with the International Cooperation Director of the Culture Department to formulate a comprehensive working plan and start up their recruitment process for the lion dance.

The lion dance involves energizing dancers to mimic the lion’s movement. It’s often mistakenly referred to as dragon dance. An easy way to tell the difference is that a lion is operated by two people, while a dragon needs many people.

Since the age of 6, Joe had been performing the lion dance while his partner Jon started at the age of 10. Professionals in their domain, the 2 lion dancers are being put into an ardent task of turning a group of the Seychellois youth into lion dancers. Speaking about their technique Jon explained that “their movements combine together to become the lion.” Jon takes the front position mimicking movement of the lion’s front body.

He controls the eye lids, ears, and the mouth, as the movement of his legs represents the front legs of the lion, whereas Joe arches forward to form the back of the lion, and he controls its tail while his legs represent the lion’s hind legs. The lion dancers are in Seychelles as part of the bilateral cooperation between Seychelles and China. The training program is schedule to start on Monday, January 14, 2013 at the National Cultural Centre auditorium.

PHOTO (L to R): Jon&Joe posing in front of Seychelles Carnival International banner / Photo from Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture


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