Dragon Boat Festival to Feature Lion Dancing

Stephanie Wolf with Colorado Public Radio writes:

The waterways won’t be the only competitive setting at this year’s Colorado Dragon Boat Festival at Sloan’s Lake Park in Denver.

As boaters take to the lake for the Festival’s annual dragon boat races, dancers will be warming up on the main stage for the first ever “Lion Dance Extravaganza.”

Lion dancing is a style of traditional dance mostly found in China, but also performed in countries like Japan, Korea and Tibet. During these dances, performers wear colorful, ornate lion costumes, and show off their technical abilities by mimicking the movements of a lion as authentic as possible.

In the same vane as reality television contests like NBC’s “The Voice” and FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance?,” the event pits Colorado lion dance and drum ensembles against each other, competing for audience votes and a first-place trophy.

Starting at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, six teams — including performance troupes from the Chinese Great Wall Academy in Denver, Aurora’s National Martial Arts Academy and Tai Kung Ha in Englewood — will perform elaborate lion dance routines in the hopes of impressing the crowds.

Audience members will decide which dance group wins by casting votes on ballots handed out at the competition. Criterion include creativity, the level of skill and the visual aesthetics of the dancers’ props and costumes.

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