|Wittenberg's Dragon Dance Team
at Inauguration of President Mark Erickson
Wang and Yang are presenting a series of lectures, demonstrations and workshops to train students and to introduce the wider Springfield community to Asian traditional culture.
Hailing from Beijing, China, Wang, “the Chinese Dragon Dance Master,” and Yang have traveled the world with their team, the Shunyi Dragon and Lion Dance Artistic Group, participating in more than 280 performances both within their home country and abroad.
Combining an impressive array of gymnastics, rhythm, strength and stamina, the centuries-old dragon dance features the fiery monster giving dynamic chase after a golden pearl.
The visit opened with a public lecture and demonstration of the Chinese Dragon and Lion Dance on Sept. 15, and two public training workshops are being held daily through Friday, Sept. 22. Dragon Dance workshops are held from 4:30-6 p.m., and the Lion Dance workshops are held from 6-7:30 p.m. An informal public show at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, on Alumni Way in front of The Benham-Pence Student Center, will conclude the masters’ visit.
Those interested in the workshops should meet in the basement of Chakeres Memorial Theatre for the Dragon Dance workshops, which are held outside, weather permitting.
Those interested in just the Lion Dance workshops should call Shih-Ming Chang, associate professor of theatre and dance, at (937) 327-7466 or via e-mail for more information. Chang arranged the visit, which she said was in the planning stage for roughly a year.
"I feel very excited," said Chang, adding that she is not aware of any other U. S. colleges that include Dragon and Lion Dancing as a school-endorsed club.The dance masters’ visit to Wittenberg provided opportunities for Wittenberg’s own Dragon Dance team to perfect its skills through private training workshops. Barely out of its infancy, the team are being privately tutored by teachers whose students have included renowned martial arts actors Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Wang and Yang also assisted in the establishment of a Lion Dance team within the existing club, and they were accompanied to campus by two new “lions” for that team.
Long recognized for its superior East Asian Studies Program, Wittenberg aims to broaden understanding of the cultural heritage of Asia and provide opportunities to expand the international presence on campus. The visit by the Dragon and Lion dance masters is made possible through a Freeman Foundation grant, which also allowed for the purchase of both pairs of dragons and lions at Wittenberg.
- Written By: Christi Lue '08
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