Lion dancers to bring added flair to Seychelles carnival float


(L to r) Jon and Joe posing in front of the Seychelles carnival poster. They are here to impart lion dance skills to a group of young Seychellois

Chinese instructors Joe, aged 20, and his partner Jon, 21, are working closely with Chinese instructor Mrs Lownam, Vocal National Choir Programme, to built a strong and dynamic team of locally trained lion dancers.
Hip-hop dancers and youths from the NRA (Neighbourhood Recreational Activities) 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 energising dancers to mimic the lion’s movement.

 It is often mistakenly referred to as the 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 six Joe has been performing the lion dance while his partner Jon started at the age of 10.
Professionals in their domain, the two lion dancers have the challenging task of turning a group of Seychellois youths into lion dancers.
Speaking about their technique, Jon explained that “their movements combine together to become the lion”.

 Jon holds pole position, mimicking the movement of the front part of the lion’s body.

He controls the eye lids, ears and the mouth while the movement of his legs mimicks that of the lion’s front legs.

Joe, on the other hand, arches forward to form the back of the lion, controls its tail and 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 programme is scheduled to start on Monday January 14, 2013 at the National Cultural Centre auditorium. 

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