Lion Dance Performance
Lion dances originated in China, but the dances were adapted and performed throughout Japan. Pittsburghers will have an opportunity to see traditional lion dance performances at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 in Pitt's Bellefield Hall Auditorium, 315 S. Bellefield Ave., Oakland. The free public performance, presented by Pitt's Asian Studies Center within the University Center for International Studies, will feature a troupe of 25 musicians and dancers, registered by the Japanese government as an Intangible Folklore Cultural Asset.
A traditional form of storytelling, the dances were once performed to repel demons and evil spirits and affect rainfall and a bountiful harvest. Today, lion dances are an important part of Japan's folk performance arts and are performed annually at Handa City's spring festival. Each "lion" is animated by two dancers: The larger lion performs dances associated with the four seasons; the smaller one performs dances associated with the months of the year.