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2013 New Taipei City Traditional Art Festival - Taishan Lion Dance Cultural Festival

Origin

The Lion Dance is an outstanding performance that incorporates many performing forms, including martial arts, dance, acrobatics, drama, art, and music.  In the early days, during the Chinese Lunar New Year, there were always Lion Dance Troupes performing and praying for good fortune at the third-grade historical sites - Ding Taishan Temple and the Lower Taishan Temple. The Lion Dance Troupes would then parade the streets, asking for red-envelope money from the store owners on the streets.  Every 18th day of the 9th Lunar Month, the birthday of Yingshin Master is the big occasion for Taishan locals to get together and celebrate.  The Lion Dance Cultural Festival has been held annually since 2007.  It is a festival that comprises the ritual of processions for good luck and fortune and the happy atmosphere of the Lion Dance has become an important feature for uniting local culture as well as the big event that the locals long for every year. The Taishan Lion Dance Culture Festival centers on the lion dance competition whose theme is “lions”; in addition, there are also activities such as Lion King Creative Markets, and a fair that sells local delicacies, displaying a creative “ Lion Art” cultural festival.  2013 Lion Dance Art Festival will continue to invite top international Lion Dance Troupes to participate in the Lion Dance Competition.  In the competition, it is important to express the lion’s “joy, anger, sadness, and happiness” through Cai-Qin (literally meaning plucking the greens) and “High-Pole”, elevating the level of Lion Dance Competition to a more professional and brilliant contest in order to promote and pass on the traditional art.

Activities

Community Theater & Art Workshops: Besides shows brought by great drama troupes and courses in theater manners, introduction to technical skills related to theater are available for participants to get to know drama and theater, inspiring people in the community to appreciate and create art. 

Lion Dance Campus Tour and Interactive Teaching: Shows designed by professional performing groups are brought to school for both faculties and students to appreciate and discuss, attracting their interest and attention as well as guiding them to think over topics related to lion dance skills.

The Lion Dance Competition: Top domestic/international Lion Dance Troupes are invited to compete and exchange skills in Taiwan continually in order to achieve the goals for all Lion Dance Troupes to perform their best in a fair, square and public manner and for more people to know the steps/movements of Lion Dances.  The scoring system of the competition is based on the International Competition and Judging Rules of WuLong, NanShi and BeiShi to upgrade its professionalism.

The Procession for Celebration of Shanying Master: Shanying Master is the religious center of Taishan.  The 18th day of the ninth Lunar Month is his birthday and a procession will be held every year to continue the theme of “Lion Dance for Celebrating, Praying for Blessings” activity and the winning Lion Dance Troupes and teams from local communities will also participate in the procession and parade. 

Lion Fun Carnival: Groups from communities, schools and art groups are gathered to exhibit and sell hand-made artifacts and local delicacies.  Furthermore, activities of Lion King Expert Fun Game Area, DIY Lion King Artworks are available to the public.

The Lion King’s Night –Well-known performing groups have been invited to bring shows with topics related to the festival (such as the lion dance skills and drum skills).  Besides, traditional folklore art, dance shows and music concerts with local characteristics are held to raise people’s recognition for the inheritance of lion king culture and evoke their poignancy for the Lion Dance Cultural Festival.

Taishan Art World Photography Competition: Photography lovers are invited to photograph people or scenery of Taishan or any great moments of the Lion Dance Competition to tell stories. All prize-winning works will be exhibited at the Mingzhi Academy.

 
 

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