Chinese lion dance comes to The Pullo Center at Penn State York Oct. 14

October 08, 2015

YORK, Pa. — Penn State York’s cultural series continues at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 14, when the Wong People Chinese Lion Dance and Martial Arts group takes to the stage at Penn State York’s Pullo Family Performing Arts Center (The Pullo Center). This performance is free and open to the public; no tickets needed. The cultural series is sponsored by the Penn State York Office of Student Affairs.

Wong People Kung Fu School is Washington, D.C.'s premier lion dance team. The group is highly acclaimed for its skill in bringing to life the centuries old legend on which the lion dance is based. The origins of the Chinese lion dance may reach back more than 2,000 years. With a centuries old continuous history, the lion dance is an integral part of Chinese culture and southeast Asian cultures of Vietnam, Korea, Japan and Malaysia. The lion dance, associated with ceremonies ranging from solemn to joyous, is, historically and according to legend, designed to drive away malevolent spirits.

As part of the dance, the lion dancers must obey certain rules of propriety. With energy and excitement, the group displays a brightly colored paper-mâché lion (or dragon) with many elaborate decorations. One person performs as the head of the lion, while a second person follows in the tail. A group of musicians playing a drum, a gong, and cymbals accompany the dancers. Each demonstration is unique and the Wong People Lion Dancers tour extensively, performing at festivals, colleges and universities, community and corporate events, and public schools throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
 
The Wong Chinese Lion Dancers perform the traditional southern Chinese lion dance. This style of lion dance has always been passed on from one generation to the next, from teacher to student. Unlike other forms of lion dance, the southern style has remained intact and has never been combined with others. It requires a great deal of physical strength and stamina as its movements are forceful and the equipment heavy. Practitioners must undergo rigorous training to develop these skills and to learn the many movements used to make the lion appear alive and strong. They must also learn to play the instruments used to accompany the lion and to direct its movements during the dance.

Mark your calendar for the upcoming free cultural events:

Piscataway Nation Singers and Dancers
6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 3

The Pullo Center
Zydeco A Go-Go Cajun Band
6:30 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 8, 2016
Conference Center, Main Classroom Building

Camara African Dance
Noon
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016
The Pullo Center

 

Last Updated October 19, 2015