Northern Lion Characteristics
The Northern lion is designed and made to resemble the features of a real lion. The external features resemble closely to those stone lions that stand in front of a temple or classic Chinese buildings.
During the performance, the lion costume is put on by two people performing as a single lion. The first person holds the lion’s head while the second person bends at waist level and holds the waist of the first person, which forms the lion’s body and tail. A third person puts on a Chinese martial art costume, ties a red silk cloth on the head, wears a red band around the waist, and holds a red embroidered ball to entice the lion to perform various movements together with music from the musical instruments such as the drum, gongs and cymbals. The lion movements were majestic, powerful and energetic.
The movement of the lion’s head and tail is coordinated with the drums, gongs and cymbals. The lion starts by wavering Its body and tail, and followed by leaping up high. It either jumps with two feet onto the tabletop and strides proudly forward with head high looking in all direction, or leaps with all four feet simultaneously onto the tabletop or leapt and soar over the tabletop. During performance, it is difficult to substitute the performers who are holding the lion’s head or form the part of the lion body and tail. Hence, it is very strenuous, and its movement and posture must be as lifelike as that of a real lion in order to delight the audience.