Roaring Lion Dance Troupes in Colorado
A traditional aspect of Chinese New Year celebrations is the lion dance, a traditional dance in Chinese culture and other Asian countries in which performers mimic a lion’s movements in a lion costume. The lion dance is performed during the Chinese New Year, cultural and religious festivals, and important occasions such as business opening events, special celebrations or wedding ceremonies. Lion dance is gaining its reputation as an international sport with competitions in Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, and Colorado! Learn more about four lion dance troupes in Colorado and find out where you can catch a performance.
Colorado Asian Cultural Heritage Center Dragon and Lion Dance Troupe is a non-profit organization made up of dedicated volunteers, friends, students and young professionals from different ethnicities. Dedicated to promoting and introducing the sport and art of dragon and lion dance, health, wellness, and the Asian culture, the troupe’s mission is to improve the quality and performance of dragon and lion dance through excellence in training, education, competition, and recognition.
The group strives to pass on the skills and knowledge to support members with physical conditioning, balance, focus, coordination, health, respect, and confidence as an individual in the sport of dragon and lion dancing. For more information, visit: www.cachcdragonlion.org or www.facebook.com/cachcdragonlion.
• Jan. 17: Lone Tree Arts Center (Lone Tree)
• Jan. 30: Asian Market (Colorado Springs)
• Feb. 5: Lulu’s Bistro (Fort Collins) and Canton Palace (Loveland)
• Feb. 6: A-Mart Supermarket (Denver)
• Feb. 6: Pho Boulevard (Denver), Ameristar Casino (Black Hawk)
• Feb. 7: Kings Land Restaurant and Viet’s Restaurant (Denver)
Nine Province Kung Fu originally started in Pahrump, Nevada, a small town just outside of Las Vegas. The group relocated to Grand Junction over a year ago. The Nine Province Kung Fu School primarily teaches Chinese Martial Arts. “It’s been a challenge to get people interested in lion dance,” says Sifu Glenn Bullock.
“This area of Colorado [Grand Junction] is nothing like Denver. In Nevada, almost the entire school was involved in lion dance; we had three adults and three children lions and everyone loved it.” Bullock shares that “we keep trying though; we have a solid team, one in training, and a handful of musicians.”
• Jan. 29: Kung Fu Panda 3 at Carmike Theater (Grand Junction)
• Feb. 9: Chinese New Year Demo at Hilltop (Grand Junction)
• June 18: Chinese Martial Arts Tournament at Central High School (Aurora)
Colorado Qing Wei is a United States branch of Qing Wei Dragon & Lion Dance Cultural Troupe of Singapore led by Peter K Pham. The home branch is led by 22-year-old Leon Ng and together with a group of friends who love and share the same passion in Chinese traditional and cultural performing art of lion and dragon dance, registered and established the troupe in September 2011. Different from normal lion dances Jow gar used the Futhok Lion, which has a fiercer look with narrower eyes and curved mouth. Qing Wei follows the five Chinese Traditional Virtues of self-control, self-efficacy, regards, respect and kindness as the core principle of discipline and humble attitude as the basis of operation.
With the Chinese traditional virtues and a humble attitude as the core value of the troupe, Qing Wei Lion, and Dragon Dance Troupe hope to further promote this traditional performing art as a form of sport, provide a platform for the youth of all races to learn, enjoy and appreciate the art, beauty and fun of lion and dragon dancing and create a positive impression of lion and dragon dance troupe by contributing back to the society through charitable work, bringing joy and offer aid to those most in need. For more information, visit: www.facebook.com/QingweiUSA.
• Feb. 5: Asian Avenue Lunar New Year Dinner (Denver)
• Feb. 6: Asian Pacific Development Center New Year and 35th Anniversary (Denver)
• Feb. 12: Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) Asian Cultural Festival (Denver)
Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu (SHMKF) is a 501c3 nonprofit association offering a comprehensive system of traditional martial practices intended to cultivate defense skills, health, character and spiritual development of its students. SHMKF has been performing traditional Chinese lion as well as dragon dance throughout its history, and in the U.S. since the mid-1970’s. The Colorado branch purchased its first lion in 1994 and first demonstrated its skills in February 1995. Over the years, SHMKF has been honored to have performed at a wide range of venues such as the Primrose Preschool for approximately a dozen four- and five- year olds to the area’s largest Chinese New Year celebration produced by the Denver Chinese School with over 2,500 in attendance.
SHMKF performs for many of the area’s most notable ongoing events such as the Chinese New Year celebrations produced by Asian Pacific Association of Longmont, Chinese Students and Scholars Association at CU-Boulder, Chinese Cultural Institute of Colorado Springs, as well as the annual Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. In addition, SHMKF has demonstrated at such highly regarded events as the Imperial Thombs Exhibit at Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Statewide Sister Cities Conference at the Capital Building, USTA photo exhibit at DIA, Millennium Chinese New Year Celebration at Paramount Theater, Democratic National Convention, and many others.
At an average of approximately 50+ performances each year for the past 21 years, SHMKF has exposed greater than 500,000 people to the traditional and cultural practice of the Chinese Lion Dance. For more information, visit: www.shaolinhungmei.org.
• Jan. 30: Nathan Yip Foundation Gala (Denver)
• Feb. 6: Denver Chinese School (Denver)
• Feb. 13: Bai Nian at 8 locations (Boulder)
• Feb. 15: WOW Children’s Museum (Lafayette)