This aesthetic dates back to the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC). The lion dance is one of the most vibrant performance arts that the Chinese history passed along. It was so popular that other Asian countries like Japan, Tibet, Korea and Vietnam adopted it and to this day have their own versions of the lion and performance. The lion dance is usually performed on the Chinese New Year accompanied with musical instruments consisting of gongs, drums and cymbals. The beating music helps the performers synchronize the Lion’s movements.
Above are three images of different costumes of the Chinese lion.
The costumes of the Chinese lion usually have eye-catching bright colors. The mask of the lion has a trigger that can be pulled to swing the ears, close the mouth and eyelids of the lion. The fur of the costume is usually extended and left hanging from the sides to provide that magnified look when the lion jumps.
Other lions from Asia: Left is the Japanese, right is the Korean
In the videos you can watch the excellent coordination of the performers especially with their footwork and postures that accurately resemble a lion in ready position attacking its prey. You might recognize some aerobic jumps that the lion does on the poles, which are very similar to today’s circus tricks.
Here are two of the hundreds of videos on YouTube of the performance: