The lantern dance is an East Asian folk dance that involves waving a lightweight lantern in the air while accompanied by traditional music. Participants stand in a line or circle and twirl with their lanterns, which are lit and sometimes attached to a stick. Other times, participants may use props such as lotus-shaped lanterns, flowers, and handkerchiefs. At the end of an outdoor performance, participants and spectators will often release their lanterns at the same time. The dance typically occurs in a performance setting, so participants spend a significant amount of time in rehearsal and wear traditional clothing while performing. Dancers may sing traditional folk songs while performing and are accompanied by percussion instruments.
Is this activity known by any other names?
What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?
Who takes part?
When does it occur / How often do you take part?
Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?
The lantern dance is performed by various dance troupes and Chinese or Vietnamese cultural organizations. Some of these organizations are associated with kung fu or tai chi companies. The Vietnamese Women’s Association of Toronto Family Services organizes an annual lantern festival.
Is there anything else we should know?
Harbourfront Centre235 Queens QuayToronto, ON M5J 2G8
Hershey Fields5600 Rose Cherry PlMississauga, ON L4Z 4B6
Toronto Chinese Dance Academy80 Esna Park DriveMarkham, ON L3R 2R7
Chinese Collective Arts Association7725 Birchmount RoadMarkham, ON L6G 1A8
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