Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox every week.      
The Kid Should See This

San Francisco’s Kei Lun Lion Dancers

San Francisco’s Kei Lun Lion Dancers and their director Corey Chan are dedicated to telling stories that are thousands of years old. Though traditional dance, music, costume-making, and story translation, they hope to help preserve and pass on these ancient stories by performing them for younger generations. From KQED Arts:

In the traditional lion dance, props are used that represent different meanings. For example lettuce and tangerines, which are often hung for lion dancers to pluck (along with cash), represent prosperity; tangerines with stems represent the unity of the family. The props help tell the tale and present a puzzle the lion must solve for the dance to be successful. “The audience struggles with the lion,” says Chan. “Sometimes the lion looks so frustrated because it can’t do what it wants to do.” But his triumph, when it comes, is all the sweeter for the obstacles…

Though the dragon dance is more festive and less layered in meaning than the lion dance, the dragon has great significance in Chinese culture as well. “The dragon is the ultimate symbol of the Chinese people, who call themselves the descendants of the dragon,” Chan explains. “The ancients believed different dragons controlled rainfall and flooding; they brought life-giving rain to the crops which sustained a nation, or they caused the catastrophic floods that wiped out millions. No wonder dragons were considered the loftiest, most powerful and most fearsome of creatures.”

In the archives: another dragonmore storytelling and the influences of different cultures.

Some related favorites: The Last Ice Merchanta música portuguesa a gostar dela própria, and Māori dancers perform a Haka dance.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Human tower-building competition: 2012 Concurs de Castells

Rion Nakaya

The Chamarrita & more: A Música Portuguesa a gostar dela própria

Rion Nakaya

The Westerly Morris Men celebrate the vernal equinox

Rion Nakaya

The record-setting Queen of Limbo

Rion Nakaya

Kapa Haka, a traditional Māori art form

Rion Nakaya

The Secret Story of Toys: Action-figure character sculptors

Rion Nakaya

The polyphonic singing traditions of the Baka Forest People

Rion Nakaya

The Chinese Dragon Dance for Shanghai’s Spring Festival

Rion Nakaya

The Dragon Hedge: A 100 foot long dragon-shaped topiary

Rion Nakaya