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Tuesday January 31, 2006

Rousing start to the Dog year


A lion performing stunts on a 2.5m-high pole in front of Cititel Mid Valley.
By DHARMENDER SINGH, ELAN PERUMAL and CHARLES FERNANDEZ
metro@thestar.com.my
 

CHINESE New Year celebrations are never complete without traditional lion dance performances, as lion dances are believed to usher in luck and prosperity in the days ahead. 

Traditionally, lion dances are performed on the last day of the festival in shops but in hotels they are usually performed on the first day to usher in the lunar new year. 

Quality Hotel City Centre Kuala Lumpur and Micasa All Suite Hotel in Jalan Tun Razak welcomed the New Year by inviting the award-winning Kok Ngai Troupe to spice up the Year of the Dog with a rapturous performance that left the hotel guests, mostly foreigners, spellbound. 

The 30-minute performance at Quality Hotel and the hour-long performance at Micasa Hotel were enough to leave a lasting memory for the hotel guests who were busy snapping away with their cameras. 

While Quality Hotel attracted passers-by to witness the performance, Micasa Hotel's guests also included residents from nearby Desa Angkasa and Bolton Apartment. 

The day's performance at both the hotels started with a rousing acrobatic stunt where a “lion” leapt on tall poles to the clanging of cymbals and the deafening drumming of gongs. 

At Cititel Mid Valley Hotel, about 100 guests were treated to an acrobatic performance by the Seng Yew Lion Dance Troupe at the hotel's main entrance.  

The guests, especially the foreigners, found the performance intriguing as the followed the lions as they pranced their way through the executive office, business centre, Pinnacle Lounge, Citi Café and Citi Lounge.  

Many also took the opportunity to pose with the lions and take photographs of the performance.  

Honeymooners Richa and Aashish Manocha from New Dehli, India, were thrilled with the show and took pictures with the lions.  

“This is our first time in Malaysia and have never seen such a performance before so it was a real great treat,” said Aashish.  

Goh (right) receiving the platter from the lion.
The highlights of the event included a series of spectacular stunts performed atop steel bars, with the highest about 2.5 metres above the ground.  

Cititel Mid Valley general manager Tony Goh received a platter of lettuce leaves, mandarin oranges and pomelo from the lions at the culmination of the performance. Hotel staff also handed out ang pow to children at the lobby during the performance.  

Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur was also host to a lion dance troupe, the 30-member Hock Seng Lion Dance troupe, who performed an energetic 30-minute show at about 11.30am.  

Children and adults trying to have a feel of the lion at the Concorde Hotel.
Concorde executive assistant manager (food and beverage) Andreas Knussi said the lion dance performance on the second day of Chinese New Year was an annual tradition at the hotel and had been done for more than 10 years.  

After performing at the entrance and lobby, the troupe visited the hotel's Chinese restaurant and front office. 

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