Following the release of the 5-minute English video report "WhatWePlay | The Lion Awakes" on July 9, Xinhua News launched a Chinese version video titled "玩法实验室|醒狮宇宙" (WhatWePlay | Lion Dance Universe) on July 12, targeting global audiences, especially the younger generation, to promote the lion dance from Foshan.
"In Nanhai, Foshan, I had a fully immersive experience of the lion dance, and I realized that it is not only a traditional culture, but also a form of sport that embodies the spirit of a city." In the video, Taylor from Xinhua News visited Nanhai, the birthplace of lion dance and the hometown of martial arts legends Wong Fei-Hung and IP Man, in order to uncover the secrets behind the lion dance's widespread popularity.
The three iconic characters of traditional lion dance performance are from the Romance of Three Kingdoms, Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei, but now lion dance has evolved with more characters and playstyles. In the video, Taylor also demonstrates the new ways of performing the lion dance.
In January 2022, a total of 12 lions were chosen from 2,100 lions in Nanhai to form a group known as the "Nanhai Lion Troupe." These lions serve as representatives for the people of Nanhai, allowing everyone to find their own voice. While preserving the traditional values of the lion dance, they also embody a fresh and contemporary spirit.
"The spirit of lion dance lies in its ability to adapt and evolve with the changing times," said Taylor. This is the reason why lion dance has been able to thrive for so many years.
Located at the foot of Xiqiao Mountain in Nanhai, Xiqiao Town is renowned as the "birthplace of dragon and lion dance" and the hometown of the legendary martial artist, Wong Fei-hung. It has been honored with titles such as "China's Famous Town of Dragon and Lion Dance" and "China's Hometown of Folk Culture and Art".
Guangdong lion dance, an important part of Chinese traditional culture, was listed as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2006. To preserve and innovate lion dance culture, Nanhai has been hosting the "Wong Fei-hung Cup" Lion King Championship, known as the everlasting lion art feast. In 2022, the "Nanhai Lion Troupe" was formed to strengthen the inheritance of Nanhai lion dance culture.
In the future, Nanhai will continue to delve into the culture of Nanhai lion dance and collaborate with industries such as e-sports and animation. The goal is to further enhance the brand influence of Nanhai lion dance and transform this traditional culture into a thriving industry in Foshan.
Reporter | Eleanor
Revisor | Christy, Eddie
Photo | Nanhai Release