Lion Dancing on the High Stage of Gelao Ethnic Group
Lion Dancing on the High Stage
The folk Lion Dancing on the high stage is a very popular entertainment, of the artistic characteristics of acrobatics. The over 10-metrehigh stage is composed of 8 to 12 square tables piled up together, with the top table upside down. A lion dancing group consists of 4 or 5 to 15 members, usually four performing at one time. Two dance as the lion, covered by artificial head and body of lion, only their feet outside. The other two are dressed as a monkey and a smiling monk. Sometimes small lions also appear at the same time. The monkey and the monk wave handkerchiefs to lead the lion climbing up to top of the stage. The action of climbing is alarmingly dangerous, forward, backward and flipping up. The small monkey and the monk, and two lions go up respectively in pairs, one forward while the other backward.
The lion climb directly up or in a spire way through the tables. Having reached the top, it still performs on the four table legs, without any safety rope. All the performs have very vivid names, like “swallow turning over”, “toad holding a baby”, “turtle drinking water”, “eagle spreading wings”, “carp showing the belly”, “spider hanging on a cobweb line”, “immortal monkey picking a peach”, “rolling dragon hugging a pillar”, “standing upside down”, “back-to-back somersault”, “human pyramid”, “dancing on high stakes”, “whirling like a windmill”, etc. A lion-dancing group sometimes can perform without break for 4 to 5 hours. Some performances can be very alarming and make the audience breathless, while some others are quite amusing and provoke endless laughter.