Sunday, May 20, 2012

People enjoy dancing lions

This is not my ken. I took several photos yesterday, and was not going to post. Rarity of rarity, someone saw the dragon post and recommended the 3rd Cleveland Asian Festival in the former Chinatown, now expanded to Asiantown; so i am putting up an essay to accompany them. What i saw of organisation was extensive. My first comment, to myself, was said out loud (it often happens), and concerned the number of police. This is not that sort of event that would need much security.

As last year, i stayed a few hours on Saturday. Again, i missed a few events that i wanted to see. I enjoy taiko (Japanese drums), i have seen the Oberlin troupe before; i have to find the others too. Meander back to the last point, there are many instruments, and their musicians. Now, some musicians and music enthusiasts find humour, and poke fun (abuse) at particular targets. Beside banjoists, drummers often get razzed. And they really deserve it, but as i just wrote, i like taiko [here spelt daiko].

They had opening speakers. From San Diego, there flew in marines. Next month there is to be Marine Week [this is new too, #4] in Cleveland, and in Brook Park there is a National Guard Unit 325. A, Korean American, Brigadier General gave a long, sincere, but thinly disguised recruitment speech. Even worse, a trio of suits from the new casino followed. The aura and aspect they gave was one of corporate gangsters. One big blonde one in the middle, and his two Hong Kong wings. A local television news reader, Lynna Lai, gave some introductions and acquitted herself very pleasantly.

Then there followed a local headliner, the Kwan Family Lion Dance Troupe. They mesmerised the crowd. I think this was the fourth time i have seen them. I don't know if this kind of performance translates well to television, but live in a smallish crowd where they can freely mix with the entire audience, they are great. And more police, two of them are on the force.
a fantastic, circus looking lion with shiny, spangly stuff
The lion does a lot of dancing, and then goes to sleep. He gets gently awaken by gonging and drumming. He then prepares to eat oranges, and lettuce, and money. He hurls the oranges, lettuce, and candy to the crowd. A friendly, tame lion without ferocity does not scare children.
I still have not made it to a dragon dance. Throughout the festival there are performances of local, ethnic, dance schools. Of course, their families come; but beyond that, many are quite good. And on top of that, it continues the culture, and allows other folk to enjoy, and value it.
a tambourine dance from the western province, Sinkiang
There are also performances of martial arts, and some of them have a great deal of choreography too. With festivals come booths to sell trinkets [some having no connection with the festival], to represent organisations, and food courts. The libraries came, non-festive businesses, and the FBI. I would gauge the festival as successful, if they plan on more stuff, they will need more space. The panda gets around as an ambassador, he has been in the Patricio, and the Polish parades, at least.
a corner of the food court, a lot of barbecue, and noodles in several languages

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