Singapore Troupe Stands Out With Rabbit Dances Instead Of Lion Dances
We’re more than halfway through the Chinese New Year (CNY) period, and Singaporeans would’ve seen lion dancing performances while out and about.
But some lucky shoppers at two malls in Jurong saw routines with a twist unique to the Year Of The Rabbit — lions “cosplaying” as rabbits.
At both venues, crowds stood mesmerised, watching the ‘labbits’ strut their stuff.
Rabbit-lion, aka ‘labbit’, dances at Jurong malls on 25 Jan
In a YouTube video posted last Wednesday (25 Jan), a ‘labbit’ was seen doing impressive stunts, jumping and balancing on poles in the open area outside Westgate mall.
While the bright-pink creature was doing everything a lion dance typically does, it looked pretty different from a typical lion.
For starters, it had two long ears, a pair of buck teeth and long whiskers. It also had a prominent red snout.
Here’s how a normal lion (on the left) compares with the ‘labbit’.
Another YouTube video on the same day showed a ‘labbit’ performing to a packed crowd in JCube’s atrium.
Crowd enchanted at ‘labbit dance’
Judging from the videos, the crowd loved watching the ‘labbit’ in action, raising their phones to snap photos and videos and standing seemingly mesmerised at the sight of such a cute critter executing gravity-defying stunts.
Towards the end, the crowd let out a gasp, then a cheer and applause as the performers pulled off a backflip to land gracefully on the floor.
Netizens gush over cute ‘labbits’
In response to MS News’ queries, Nam Sieng Dragon & Lion Dance Sports Association (新加坡南仙龙狮体育会) said they performed on 25 Jan at Westgate and JCube.
There were also shows on 26 Jan at IMM, and 27 Jan at Funan.
Earlier this month, they shared a preview of their two ‘labbits’ in a Facebook post, leading netizens to gush over how cute they were.
Over at YouTube, netizens also commented on their excellent performance and cuteness.
One netizen, like us, tried to coin a name for the creatures, suggesting ‘labbit’ or ‘rion’.
Rabbit doing lion dances idea so troupe can stand out
They wanted to bring in tigers last year, but scrapped the idea as they had few shows due to Covid-19 restrictions.
This year, they spent more than S$1,600 to custom-make and import two ‘labbit’ costumes from China.
Their only specifications were that they must be pink, have conspicuous ears and front teeth, and the horns of the lion’s head must be removed.
Troupe members spent over 1 month practising
When the ‘labbits’ arrived, the troupe members spent more than one month practising with them.
Time was needed to get used to the new heads as they weigh about 3kg — 1kg lighter than normal lion heads.
They are also smaller, with more petite mouths that have buck teeth, so they can’t throw peeled oranges as far towards the audience.
As for the dance steps, music and props, they’re similar to that used for normal lion dances.
‘Labbits’ cost 10-30% more
Since CNY Eve, they’ve performed eight times with the ‘labbits’, Mr Lu told Shin Min.
While some think it’s innovative, others have requested more traditional lion dances.
Perhaps it’s also the price factor — hiring the ‘labbits’ also costs 10-30% more, he estimated.
Kudos to Nam Sieng for putting effort into bringing Singaporeans a new CNY lion dance experience. We’re sure most of those who caught the ‘labbits’ in action enjoyed themselves tremendously.
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