The Bendigo Chinese Association Lion Team dates back to the late 1800s in conjunction with the parading imperial dragon, ‘Loong’, and has continued to perform at such events today (Easter and Chinese New Year).
Today the team continues to perform year round for various cultural events and private functions.
Our lion team trains year round with performers of all ages. Team training for juniors is for an hour a week, with seniors putting in as much as 3-4 hours per week. During training, the members are challenged both on an individual level and as a team, undergoing rigorous physical exercises. They learn about the Lion Dance technique, martial art stances, sequences and movements, instruments as well as the history of Chinese Culture.
Types of Chinese Lions in use:
- Southern Lion (Hoksan and Futsan): Most commonly performed of the two types. Cat like movements based on martial arts sequences and regarded as the ‘protector of dragons’. This lion is often accompanied by a Dai Tao Fut (Fat Headed Monk), who’s task is to play with and encourage the lion.
- Northern Lion (commonly refered as ‘Peking’ lion): Originate from the cold north, being typically dog like with long fur. Their movements are more acrobatic and playful. Accompanying these lions are ‘teasers’ which guide these lions through their routine.
Martial Arts displays can also be part of the performances with all being accompanied by an instrumental group, which includes a drum, gongs, and cymbals.