Lion dance troupe from Alor Setar wins championship

Lion Dance & Dragon Dance Association Hong Teik Alor Setar, Kedah, emerged champions of the National Southern Lion Dance Championship 2022.

The first National Southern Lion Dance Championship at IOI Mall in Puchong, Selangor, over the weekend drew 21 lion dance troupes, including two national champions, from all over Malaysia.

The event was held by Sinar Majestik Sdn Bhd in collaboration with the Malaysian Kuala Lumpur Xinyang Athletic Association.

Sinar Majestik chairperson Datin Sabrina Lee said: “Having provided aid to many Malaysians affected by both the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent floods, we felt that hope was necessary for Malaysians to get through this together.”

Champions Lion Dance & Dragon Dance Association Hong Teik Alor Setar Kedah won RM8,888, while the first runner-up Xuan Long Dragon and Lion Dance Team A Ampang Selangor bagged RM6,888, and second runner-up Ching Xing Sport and Cultural Centre Penang was awarded RM3,888.

The best sportsmanship award went to Yi Xuan Cultural Academy Selangor which received RM1,000.

Lion Dance & Dragon Dance Association Hong Teik Alor Setar Kedah founder and coach of the champion team, Cheah Kwong Leang, 52, said: “Winning the championship was never our primary goal.

“We perform with the intention of maintaining and promoting Chinese culture in our community.

“For this tournament, we had only 10 days to practise.

Lion dance performers wowing the crowd at IOI Mall in Puchong.Lion dance performers wowing the crowd at IOI Mall in Puchong.

“Winning this competition was definitely the result of our hard work,” he added.

Among the 11 members in the team, two are Cheah’s sons — Chao Long, 24, and Chao Fhong, 27, who took on the lion’s head and tail.

Cheah introduced his sons to the art form when they were about five or six years old, and they have been active in this cultural tradition ever since.

Competition head judge Cheong Chee Keen, who is from the Malaysian Dragon and Lion Culture Federation, said: “After a two-year hiatus, I’m glad that this event can finally take place this year.”

He said that he was impressed by the performances of the troupes.

“With only two weeks to prepare, they had all done a great job.

“Although troupes have not been allowed to compete or perform for the past two years, their standards are still high.

“I commend them for not quitting during the lockdown period.

“One can tell that they have been persistently practising the basics at home during the movement control order, because their performance was fantastic despite being on hiatus for so long,” Cheong added.

The event’s corporate sponsors included Holborn Capital Partners, KonTime Luxury Watch Sdn Bhd, Ming Ren Xuan and Black Card Platform.

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