I respect strong women, and Mulan was a strong woman. Mulan is a legendary warrior who took her father’s place in the army, and is sung about in Chinese ballads dating back to the Han Dynasty. Mulan did not have a dance of her own in the Disney movie “Mulan.” However, during the Han Dynasty, dragon dancing came into popularity. Chinese Dragon dance would have been Mulan’s dance.
The Chinese Dragon dance was believed to have started during the Han Dynasty between 206 BC -24 AD. Since then each region has developed their own versions to dance at festivals. In each region, the Dragon dance was done to please ancestors, beg for rain, good health, good crops, and bring good luck. The Dragon dance is done to a loud drum beat not just to follow the dancers, but to drive away evil spirits.
The dragon is controlled by poles attached to the body and dancers create the illusion that the dragon is moving. The dragon dance patterns are dictated by the skill of the dancers. Many of the patterns are based on Tai-Chi. Warriors had more time than the farmers to work on ceremonial dances and were responsible for the dragon dance. Chinese dragons are most often chasing the pearl of wisdom, and it is displayed in moves such as looking for pearl, dragon chasing the pearl, dragon vomiting the pearl. When not in use the Chinese dragon rests in a ceremonial temple.
Because Dragon dancing is unique to each region, and I found great information on their names. After some in depth research, I put together the essence of some of the simple dragon dance moves. Enjoy what I have compiled below.
How to Chinese Dragon Dance:
- Dragon Chasing the Pearl of Wisdom-
The dragon will follow the lead of A lead person with a pearl, we used Mulan.
- Dragon Ripple
The Dragon will ripple from front to back. We did this with Mulan directing with the pearl of wisdom.
- Dragon Chasing Tail
The dragon will circle to chase his tail. Again, we used Mulan with the pearl of Wisdom to direct the dragon.
Please enjoy our interpretation of Chinese dragon dance, and have fun exploring the Chinese culture through Dragon Dance.
About our film Location:
Sterne Park in Littleton was created in 1928 and vigorously supported by William C. “Billy” Sterne. In 1931 it was turned over to the city of Littleton, and named after Sterne, it’s benefactor.
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