21/03/2018 09:58 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Vietnam dragon dances get international applause

Vietnam once again won at the International Dragon and Lion Dance Festival held in Singapore early this year. The country’s spectacular and exciting dragon dances have recently drawn international intention.
It was the second time Vietnam triumphed at this international competition, which featured 12 teams from seven nations and territories such as Hong Kong, Malaysia and the hosts.

Last year, Vietnam won the same event, also held in Singapore with 14 troupes from nine countries and territories vying for top honours.

The lion dance is a traditional art form which celebrates prosperity and good fortune in celebration of the Lunar New Year. It was the third time Vietnam had entered the international competition.

Vietnam’s recent triumphs at international competitions are attributable to the development of dragon dance troupes in recent years and their active participation in competitions, one of which is the Ho Chi Minh City Dragon, Lion and Unicorn Dance Open.

 


Unicorn dance troupes march in Dam Sen Cultural Park before the Ho Chi Minh City Dragon,
Lion and Unicorn Dance Open. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP



The 2nd Ho Chi Minh City Dragon, Lion and Unicorn Dance Open is attended
by 17 dance troupes from southern provinces. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP



Preparing costumes before competing. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP


Careful preparations from costumes to scene setting are important. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP


A traditional unicorn dance performed by Dep Nghia Duong troupe. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP


A performance by Tam Anh Duong troupe from Binh Duong province. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP


A difficult movement in the traditional unicorn dance. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP


Crossing over a bridge, a tough movement by the unicorn performed by
Tan Anh Duong from Vung Tau province. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP



The unicorn on flower pillars requires good skills from dancers. Photo: Alvin Tao / VNP


Dragon fight against unicorn, a scene in the traditional unicorn dance. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP 


A beautiful unicorn. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP


The event attracts a lot of people in Dam Sen Cultural Park. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP


Rating the performance of a team. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP


Drum beats in unicorn dances add a cheerful atmosphere
in the first days of the lunar new year. Photo: Son Nghia / VNP

The event is held annually during the Lunar New Year Festival, where dance troupes from southern provinces, including Binh Thuan, Binh Duong, Can Tho, Vung Tau, Dong Thap, Binh Phuoc and Ho Chi Minh City, compete in two categories: the traditional unicorn dance and the unicorn dance on flower pillars.

The Ho Chi Minh City Dragon, Lion and Unicorn Dance Open is a quality competition with professional examiners, prompting dance troupes to carefully prepare for the event, from costumes of performers to their performance techniques.

    
    


Vinh Phu Duong troupe from Binh Duong province wins the first prize
for the unicorn dance on flower pillars. Photo: Alvin Tao / VNP



Hao Dung Duong troupe from Dong Thap province grabs the second prize
for the unicorn dance on flower pillars. Photo: Alvin Tao / VNP



Hao Dung Duong troupe from Dong Thap province also wins the third prize
for the traditional unicorn dance. Photo: Alvin Tao / VNP

 

Visitors to this event, which is held in Dam Sen (Lotus Lagoon) Cultural Park in Ho Chi Minh City, can enjoy charming and skillful performances by unicorn dancers who gracefully move unicorns on flower pillars, a difficult technique requiring good precision.

Nguyen Van Minh from Thu Duc district, who went to this year’s competition, said the unicorn dances were so appealing that his daughter could not leave.

After competing, winning teams also perform at Dam Sen Cultural Park to introduce this folk art to the public while creating a cheerful atmosphere in the early days of the lunar new year.

 
By Son Nghia – Alvin Tao