Dance of nine lions | Updated: 2018-11-27

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Dance of nine lions. [Photo/]

The dance of nine lions, also known as nine lions playing with the ball, is widespread across villages and towns in Xianju county. As a folk dance combining the techniques of marionette performances with ground lion dances, it is named for the fact that the dance resembles nine lions performing in the air. The various forms of the performance imitate different scenes, such as lions snatching a ball, a lion playing with a ball, two lions moving a ball, a ball made of strips of silk being opened up, pearls falling onto a plate and three lions enjoying a feast. Combining rough technique with exquisite craftsmanship, the props depict dragons and phoenixes, pine trees and red-crowned cranes, as well as the Eight Immortals crossing the sea. All of these depictions symbolize people’s hopes for great weather and good crops and are permeated with rural elements. In June 2008, the dance of nine lions was included in China’s second Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

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