PETALING JAYA: Almost an unknown group 10 years ago, the Khuan Loke lion dance troupe is set to make its first official appearance before royalty at the national-level Chinese New Year open house here on Saturday as Selangor’s leading team and one of the country’s best.
The members had been practising for the event every night at their premises in Sungai Way, trying out daring moves on stilts, to ensure the audience will be satisfied, said the team’s assistant leader, Eric Fong.
H. P. Siow, who also trains national and world champions the Khun Seng lion dance group from Muar, is training the team.
Fong said Master Siow, as their trainer is affectionately referred to, has designed a batik lion for the upcoming event, to reflect the multiracial composition of the country
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who will be attending the grand open house along with the Raja Permaisuri Agong, the Sultan of Selangor, and an array of VIPs, will be invited to perform the “awakening” ceremony for this particular lion,” said Fong.
He added that it would be a cultural experience that would be enjoyed by all Malaysians, as well as foreign visitors, as lion dancing was more like an Oriental acrobatic show and does not involve any religious significance.
The troupe, which came in second after the Muar troupe at the national level and third at the international competition (which was also won by the Khuan Seng group), was among several groups in the Sungai Way neighbourhood which have performed in public over the past 20 years.
“The troupe was merely one of the many in the state. It was only in the past six or seven years that the troupe became known, when we started designing daring acrobatic moves on stilts for our lions and winning at championships,” said Fong, a 22-year-old college student
He said team members were dedicated to their craft and practised hard to collect their trophies.
“It involved a lot of sacrifices and struggles to become the group that we are today,” he said.
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