Enter the dragon

Enter the dragon
Clockwise from left: A remote-controlled dragon kite will be flown during this year’s Chingay Parade at the F1 Pit Building. The underwater dragon dance at S.E.A. Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa. Performed by two divers, it features a 3m-long waterproof dragon. A team from Stamford Dragon Lion Arts and Cultural Troupe will present the ice dragon at the rink in JCube shopping mall.

In mythology, the dragon is known to be a creature who not only can move on land, but can also fly and swim.

And fly and swim are exactly what the dragons in some of this year's dragon dances, performed for the Chinese New Year season, are doing.

Apart from the traditional dance on land, the dragons will be manoeuvred on ice, underwater and in the air.

Next month, for example, nine members from the Stamford Dragon Lion Arts and Cultural Troupe will present a seven-minute performance while ice-skating at the rink in JCube shopping mall. They will carry a 18m-long, 16kg dragon decked out in LED lights.

The troupe first put on the performance last year to add a modern twist to the Chinese New Year tradition.

Because of the performance, there was a 10 per cent increase in the number of people who turned up to use the rink, compared to the year before, says JCube's centre manager Maggie Chua. The rink's gallery seats were also filled to capacity, she adds.

Troupe leader Daniel Soong, 54, says he wanted to inject something fresh to the traditional performance to keep it alive.

He says: "Everyone has seen the dragon dance on land. We want to keep things interesting, especially to attract young people. This tie-up also gives our members a chance to learn ice-skating for free."

The troupe members, aged 22 to 42, have been practising for the last three months - they took five 30-minute ice-skating lessons and are allowed to enter the rink for free to practise on their own.

Some troupe members, including civil servant Tan Wang Khoon, are nervous as they have not ice-skated before.

Says the 38-year-old, who was not part of last year's performance: "During rehearsals, the dragon moves so fast that I'm often dragged along with it. During some sessions, I've fallen down 10 times. But I tell myself not to give up and to try my best."

An underwater dragon dance is dazzling visitors at Resorts World Sentosa's S.E.A. Aquarium. Four times a day, a 3m-long dragon, made from a polyester-like waterproof fabric, dances with the fishes.

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