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Wedding Routine
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hasayfu
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Guys,

Love that we are discussing this. I will probably be off line for a while so I thought I would post quickly now.

Yogi, much of new york in the 80s is cantonese, no? So not sure of the reason either. Maybe Corey will know. I do know that now, most people want it for culture. So it is a defacto tradition. Been that way from at least the 80s for me. Mainly by ABC who want to celebrate their culture. Very few really know the details of the dance. They just like the music and cool looking costumes.

For your question about stalking, I assume you mean testing. Of course we do this. This is the blessing part. What I was saying is we don't do the 45 minute puzzles. Just basic chang on the floor or hanging on a pole. Why? mainly because you don't have much time. Think about 15 minutes. 5-7 minutes for pair routine, 3 minutes test, 3 minutes feeding and photos. This is all done in front of the couple.

SD, we do follow the tradition of more difficult obstacle more luck for regular lion dance. Again, my philosophy is for wedding you want unity not obstacle. So instead of a harsh puzzle or course for one lion, we use skillful unity routines. They require just as much if not more skill to synchronize 2-5 lions. Also, since time is short, we make sure every stunt goes back to back which adds to the difficulty. BTW, we do use props (usually benches) but again its less about challenge and more about unity.

I love the idea of auspicious routines. Unfortunately, I was never taught these. We were given more guidelines like what I listed above and from there be creative. Maybe you can explain these like you did in the Cheng thread.

In SF area, I see very few traditional changs. I have only done one chang set up by the business. It was a Vietnamese company. Everyone else either hangs the chang or asks us what to do. Depending on the time/occasion, I will give simple or complex chang.

One trend I do not like is the use of a plastic chang. HAve you seen this? It makes sense for competition but not business/weddings. Though I have to say I saw Leung's white crane at a wedding and they did a bench obstacle with a plastic chang. But instead of just tossing the chang on the floor, they carefully tossed it to the bride. Very cool. I might "borrow" that some day. LOL

As far as playing with the crowd, we definitely do that. That is part of the unity portion. So the playing is freestyle with some moments of coordination. Timed by the music. For Unity it's not every lion does the same thing. It is some of that and some where they trade off or do opposite (yin/yang)

I don't think having the crowd feeding the lion was started in Hawaii. The Vietnamese here do it all the time. I think it is mentioned in the talk lion book too. It does seem many of the Cantonese and none of the mainlanders know about feeding the lion anymore. Just as an aside, I was taught the lion never takes money from the crowd until AFTER the chang. The feeding of the lion is the appreciation piece so it's supposed to be for passing the blessing.

This CNY I was in Oakland Chinatown and saw three different teams perform for various businesses. I always give a laisee to my kids to feed the lions. I think all three teams didn't notice them until some old guy on the team point them out cuz they were just lined up to bow out. I won't mention names but these are big teams. Full disclosure though. Even though I drill my team all the time about this, I'm usually like the old guys in Chinatown reminding the lions to get their appreciation.

Hope people enjoy this cheung hay. Again, this is just how I was taught and as I find out all the time, everyone has their differences. That's what makes sharing great.
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SleepingDragon
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hasayfu wrote:

I love the idea of auspicious routines. Unfortunately, I was never taught these. We were given more guidelines like what I listed above and from there be creative. Maybe you can explain these like you did in the Cheng thread.
SC I think you sell yourself short. You can speak, read, and write Chinese which is more than I can do. I have to rely on Chinese books translated into English and my computer. There are books on auspicious sayings/motifs, stories (fact/fiction), beliefs etc., all the puzzles/routines are based on these. I think you already what constitutes traditional props so I won’t get into that either. Some are more known than others that’s all. Like you mentioned above be creative within the rules. Using a pair of lions in a routine to coordinate and act together is a must if you are to do a routine for a wedding and keep it to 10 minutes so that you can play the crowd as most traditional routines take a least ½ hour and use only one lion. For the long “Harmonious Marriage Blessed with Many Sons,” since you have a Chinese chair (bench), do you also use a tables and planks? These will be used to create a bridge. Water will be created with a blue cloth (to rep a sea/lake/river). The bench will represent a tree stump and be standing upright. Also needed are 2 mandarin ducks (Donald Duck and Daisy Duck will not suffice), and an orange (or a real lotus flower and plastic may suffice). Basically, after paying respects to the couple, the lion(s) investigates and realizes what it must do, but will show fear of the water. The ducks are placed in different locations, but the lion(s) will traverse the bridge to gather each duck (how fancy and acrobatic you want to get in fetching them is up to you) and place them one by one in front of the couple facing each other. The lion will then look around and see the orange, to get it the lion will lower the bench to fetch and place it behind the pair of ducks after making it blossom (this will take time for those not skilled in doing this-this is where a real or plastic lotus comes in handy as it will facilitate time-it will also allow the couple to keep it (plastic) with the ducks long after as the orange and real lotus will not last forever.). Mandarin ducks are known to mate for life, and I believe you already know why lotus flower represents many sons.

As for the magpies with the coins, magpies=happiness because it is said the singing of magpies forebodes happiness and joy. There are many stories as to why (I’ll let the others look it up as it is too much info. It is interesting to note that European culture considers 2 magpies a symbol of joy in union though. The coin=before (homonym) and the hole in the middle of an old Chinese coin is called an eye. You can probably guess where “your” comes from. How to setup? Just use the rules and your imagination, same with the others.

hasayfu wrote:

In SF area, I see very few traditional changs. I have only done one chang set up by the business. It was a Vietnamese company. Everyone else either hangs the chang or asks us what to do. Depending on the time/occasion, I will give simple or complex chang.
When I went to SF many years ago for CNY I was disappointed that there weren’t any traditional puzzles. Except for NY, I think it’s the rule now, because like Hawaii most that knew how retired or passed. Where upon it becomes the responsibility of the LD teams to set it up like you mentioned. I remember Master Lim of Malaysia saying that after talking to a client and finding out certain things, he will set up a cheng for them if they so wish. He also said when using animals of the Zodiac as part of the cheng, to make sure the person it is for is not the opposite of that animal ie. Dragon and Dog. Never thought about it at first but as soon as he mentioned it he didn’t have to say why. I think peoples best bet in the US is NY, Singapore seems to do have a lot.

hasayfu wrote:

One trend I do not like is the use of a plastic chang. HAve you seen this? It makes sense for competition but not business/weddings.
Well things change, snakes not made of a weapon or sugar cane stalk. I’m sure the restaurants prefer it that way as they don’t have to clean up the mess. One Singapore veteran said technically you shouldn’t use 高 桩gao zhuang for a business opening or was it just a business new year, something about ill omen for a business, his quote “as it symbolizes the worker cannot settles down .... 七 上 八 下。” Don’t understand his principle, but hey times change.

hasayfu wrote:

I don't think having the crowd feeding the lion was started in Hawaii. The Vietnamese here do it all the time. I think it is mentioned in the talk lion book too. It does seem many of the Cantonese and none of the mainlanders know about feeding the lion anymore.
Well that is what I read one person say it somewhere, they apparently heard it from Dr. Hu, don’t know if it is true. I think it is unlikely. He also said that they felt that taking money from the crowd was like the lion pimping itself. I do know that the immigrant Chinese sometimes still views it as a triad thing and least likely to tip for good luck. I know this because a friend married a HK girl and she and the mom didn’t like him involved with lion dancing because they viewed it that way. He scolded them and said that the lion dance here in Hawaii has nothing to do with triads, maybe elsewhere but not here. However, I find it funny, cause in Hawaii the Caucasions, Hawaiians and others are more likely to tip for good luck.

I think I out cheung hay you SC-haha.

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Corey Chan
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good thing member of this forum has the drive to slog through the difficult task of translating texts from a second language. Thanks Sleeping Dragon!

七 上 八 下 literally translates to “seven up and eight down”. I can understand why that might be perceived by some as an ill omen for business. The equivalent saying in English would be “take one step forward and two steps back.” You’d never want to wish that on a friend who is starting up a new venture (unless he/she is taking up cha cha lessons).

I, for one, am really glad that there are some guys out there willing to take the time to give thorough explanations of their traditions and opinions. It makes a deep art even deeper for all of us. Thanks for the education, and keep up the outstanding work!
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George
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, to my knowledge 高 桩 can also represent '步步高升' (~moving upwards step by step)...maybe more relevant to employees than business people.
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SleepingDragon
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I have no idea how he even came up with the chinese characters because of the gao zhuang.

Just know he claims that it is about the workers being perturbed and thus can't concentrate on the work at hand?

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