Singapore — A troupe with performers wearing tutus under their lion dance costumes has withdrawn from Chingay 2021.
The pullout follows criticism online that the changed attire marred a cultural image.
On Dec 11, the Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao had shared a video of preparations for the dance segment in Chingay 2021.
The show was to feature 100 lions in a four-minute lion dance performance. Five of the lions were to feature 10 dancers from the Dance Spectrum International (DSI) troupe. The 10 dancers, aged between 14 and 30, were supposed to tap dance in tutus under lion costumes. The rest of the performers were to be in the traditional costumes.
The video led to a petition on change.org directed at the People’s Association (PA) and calling it to “Drop the Lion Dance with Tutu Performance for Chingay!”
The petitioner, Lion Dance Singapore, said: “What travesty is this, the very act of wearing tutus under the lion dance costume which is considered a second skin to us who are members of Singapore’s finest lion dance troupes!”
“I believe that the Chingay parades we have is to showcase our diverse cultural identities instead of destroying a cultural image in the name of creativity. There is a fine line between pushing the boundaries of the art form, and preserving its artistic integrity and traditions.”
As at Tuesday (Dec 29), the petition had 1,219 signatories.
The People’s Association said on Monday (Dec 28) in a joint statement with Dance Spectrum International and the Singapore Wushu Dragon & Lion Dance Federation that the segment was scrapped “in consideration of the young dancers affected by cyberbullying”.
They said: “While we welcome different views on artistic expression, we do not condone online hurtful remarks and personal attacks on individuals posted on social media. It is not consistent with the gracious and inclusive society that we wish to see.”
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