The Performers

The Lion

The lion consists of two people. The front person mans the head of the lion and the back person is the tail. The person controlling the head of the lion controls the facial expressions and mannerisms of the lion head. This is created by blink the eyes, moving the ears, flapping the mouth, changing the angles of the head and moving the waist and feet. In the traditional lion dance, the footwork of the performer ie stancework and kicks will represent the style of the Kung Fu school. The rear person controls the tail. The tail is used not only to bring life to the back of the lion by flapping the arms, the tail also lifts the front person (head) to perform acrobatic tricks. The head and tail of the lion work in unison to give the puppet life making the lion portray a real animal. A lion head and tail puppet typically weighs around 7 kilograms and the shell of the lion is made from cane, paper mache, wire, cloth and string.

The Big Headed Buddah

The dai tou fut or big headed buddah is also known as the funny man of the lion dance. The dai tou fut leads the lion around to where they need to go and will also play cheeky tricks on the lions. The dai tou fut is also responsible for setting up tricks for the lion such as table tricks in restaurants using the cutlery or setting up a lettuce for the lion to eat. The dai tou will also play around with the crowd in his or hers own cheeky way and also explain the crowd what the lion will be doing next or the significance of what the lion is doing. He or she dresses in a yellow robe with a red sash, has a big headed mask and carries a rattan fan.

The Kung Fu Demo Team

Choy Lee Fut Pennant Hills is a kung fu school teaching traditional shaolin martial arts. The style Choy Lee Fut was developed over 200 years ago by the founder Chan Heung who learnt from the monks of the Shaolin Temple.

The Kung Fu Demo team are active kung fu practitioners who perform for the public. The demonstrations include open hand forms consisting of fist and animal forms and weapons forms from swords to halberds. The CLFPH kung fu demo team has performed locally, nationally and internationally with individuals competing in martial arts competitions both nationally and internationally.

The Instruments

The Drummer

The drum is the heartbeat of the lion. The drummer will play specific beats to follow the lion dance moves. This includes bai sun (praying lion), hei si (rising lion), saam sing (walking lion), pao si (excited lion) and chut sing (playing lion). The drummer combines beats by hitting in the middle of the drum, hitting the sticks together and clicking on the side of the drum where the nails are. Pitch and tempo played on the drum create the mood of the lion. The drummer is the leader of the instruments.

The Cymbal Players

The cymbals are the atmosphere around the lion. The cymbals follow the drummer and gong player. The instruments are played loudly within the lion dance to follow the mood of the lion as well as ward of evil spirits.

The Gong Player

The gong is the conscience of the lion. The gong player follows the drum and leads the cymbals. The gong player emphasises the drum beat by playing off beats from the drum.