First all-Indian lion dance troupe in the country set to make waves

Pictures from Sin Chew Daily

First all-Indian lion dance troupe in the country set to make waves

BY: Patrick Beech

The SJK(T) Pasir Gudang, Johor is likely the first and only all-Indian lion dance troupe in the country.

Formed in August last year, the troupe recently caught public attention when it performed at the Mid-Autumn celebrations in Kampung Batu Masai in Johor.

The troupe started when Kalavani, a 37-year-old mother proposed that the school where her child is studying, form a lion dance troupe and referred lion dance instructor Tom Chan to the school.

Headmistress, C.Thilagvathy said they discussed the matter with the school's Parent-Teacher Association and agreed to the proposal.

They believed that the formation of a lion dance troupe would help promote racial integration.

Following that the school, with assistance from Chan, formed the lion dance troupe with 25 boys and girls from Years Two to Four.

There are a total of 247 pupils in the school.

According to Chan, he spends about two hours every Monday afternoon coaching the students, using borrowed lion heads, drums, gongs and cymbals.

As a sign of cultural integration between the Chinese and Indians, Chan said he had also designed a peacock-style lion for the troupe.

"The lion head is slightly different from the normal ones as the body is covered with images of peacock feathers.

"The steps of the performance are also a blend of Chinese and Indian dances," said Chan.