Liufang cloud dragon dance: Liufang cloud dragon dance is a type of traditional folk dragon dances popular in Liufang Village of Gu Town and other villages in Zhongshan. It has a history of over 300 years.
Liufang cloud dragon is made with bamboo splits in accordance with the shape, proportion and size of a dragon. Around the 20th day of the 1st lunar month after Spring Festival, ¡°tour of god¡± activity would be held in Liufang Village, for which around 200 young and middle-aged male villagers would invite cloud dragon out of the village ancestral temple. In the evening, the young men would enter the dragon body with lit candles, so that the entire dragon body is bright. Then, led by dragon balls with flags and lanterns heading the procession, and accompanied by clouds, carps and other props, the young men would start from Liufang Village, and tour along the nearby villages for 3 nights in a row.
Liufang cloud dragon dance tour is often made at night. Dancers often wear white shirts, and pants with the same color with dragon quilt. From far away, cloud dragon could be seen dancing and rolling, but dancers cannot be found, creating a unique effect.
Liufang cloud dragon dance is very popular among local folks. Whenever cloud dragon comes, villagers from Gu Town which is located in the area of mulberry fish pond would light up the village road by igniting the mulberry twigs, and beat drums, to welcome cloud dragon. The spectacle is very grand. When the cloud dragon passes by, villagers would let the children wear dragon shoes, in the hope that they will get up quickly. When the cloud dragon returns to the ancestral temple after the tour, dancers would have meal in the village ancestral temple. Dragon quilts subscribed by villagers would be brought home and taken as children¡¯s clothes, for the sake of auspiciousness.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Liufang cloud dragon went to Hong Kong to attend performances in celebration of the British Queen¡¯s Jubilee Grand Ceremony and the victory of China¡¯s War of Resistance against Japan respectively. After the performance in Macao, Liufang cloud dragon dancers had a photo together with Lu Muzhen, the 1st wife of Dr. Sun Yat-sen.
With the passage of time, great changes have happened to the economic structure of Liufang, Gu Town. Liufang cloud dragon dance which has a long history has been in an endangered state. Since the younger generations don¡¯t have much knowledge about the making, dance and the relative ceremonies of the traditional Liufang cloud dragons, nor do they have necessary learning enthusiasm, Liufang cloud dragon faces the danger of going lost.Go Back