'Lions' face off in dance-off

Leaping from stilt to stilt to the clangour of gongs and drums, seven of the best lion dance troupes here duked it out yesterday in the middle of the Orchard Road shopping belt.

They were competing in the annual National Lion Dance Championships held at the Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza.

It was the semi-finals of the "freestyle southern lion dance" category, and troupes performed gravity-defying routines atop stilts that were 1.2m to 3m high.

A total of 14 teams were competing in this category. Yesterday was the first of six days of competition to be held every evening at Ngee Ann City.

Twelve troupes will also compete in the "traditional" category where teams perform a routine on the ground with props.

These troupes were the best of 40 that took part in a preliminary selection in July.

Senior Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth Sim Ann flagged off the competition.

The championships, into its 22nd edition, is organised by the Singapore Wushu Dragon and Lion Dance Federation.

Danson Cheong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 06, 2016, with the headline ''Lions' face off in dance-off'. Subscribe