Date: April 25, 2023
Translator: LIU Na
Tan Znilong has been practicing lion dance for three years ever since he became attached to JNU's team by chance. Tan, a member of the 2020 undergraduate stomatology class from Hong Kong, is currently captain of the Dragon and Lion Dance Team.
Growing up and going to school in Guangzhou, Tan would return to Hong Kong to stay with his grandfather during holidays. For him, both Hong Kong and mainland China have a sense of home. He has been rooted in the traditional lion dance since he was invited to join the JNU team.
In Tan's eyes, lion dance is special. Lion dance is not only about the dance, but also about drum music, which is equivalent to a combination of martial arts, dance and music, he said. Being both sport and art, it can strengthen the body and cultivate sentiment at the same time.
(Tan playing the drum in the lion dance performance.)
Lion dance is a team sport pairing a head with a tail – two partners simultaneously performing the movements, which particularly tests their cooperation, a difficult point in training. Tan trained mainly to play the tail. Thanks to his body shape advantage, when partnering with the head, his basic movements are relatively smooth, and he could perform the difficult movements after several practice sessions.
The lion dance has a very good effect on strengthening my body, he said. When I first learned it my freshman year, I lost a whole 20 kilos in one semester, from 110 to 90, and I have been maintaining this weight since then.”
(Tan playing the lion's tail)
Tan gave his first official lion dance performance in 2020 on behalf of JNU in the men's lion group at the Guangdong Provincial University Student Dragon and Lion Dance Championships. His team placed fifth.
Lion dance is part of classic Chinese culture with characteristics of the Lingnan region in South China. In addition to the dragon and lion dance competition, Tan's lion team is active in a variety of cultural activities in and out of school. Lion dance training has been integrated into his daily routine and has become part of his life.
(Tan practicing with his partner.)
In the first half of 2022, as one of the few veteran team members, Tan shouldered the responsibility of captain and began to take over the daily affairs of the entire lion team when other members were busy with graduation and plans for their further education.
(Tan demonstrating how to move the lion head to his team members.)
Where there are Chinese people, there is lion dance,” he said. After learning lion dance, Tan became acquainted with more Hong Kong and mainland youths from JNU, establishing more and deeper connections and friendships.
Copyright © 2016 Jinan University. All Rights Reserved.