Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In the dance, a team of dancers carry the dragon — which is an image of the Chinese dragon — on poles. The lead dancers lift, dip, thrust, and sweep the head, which may contain animated features controlled by a dancer and is sometimes rigged to belch smoke from pyrotechnic devices.
The dance team mimics the supposed movements of this river spirit in a sinuous, undulating manner. The dragon's fabric and bamboo body can be as long as tens of meters.
The dragon dance is a highlight of Chinese New Year celebrations held worldwide in "Chinatowns" around the world. The costumes used in these celebrations are usually made in specialty craft shops in rural China and imported at considerable expense using funds raised through subscriptions and pledges by members of local cultural and business societies.
The illustration at right shows a Double Dragon Dance, rarely seen in western exhibitions, with two troops of dancers intertwining the dragons.
Dragon dance is prominently featured in the Cirque du Soleil show Dralion.
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