Travel Progeny

By 2g1c2 girls 1 cup

24 February

Fear of the Chinese Lion Dancers

Face of the Dancing LionIf you live in St. Louis you know that St. Louis is really St. Louis City (where I live) and St. Louis County and that St. Louis County is made up of all of these other lit­tle cities– Clay­ton, Kirk­wood, Ladue, Uni­ver­sity City, Mary­land Heights, Fron­tenac, Floris­sant, Olivette… The list seems to go on and on but the lines that sep­a­rate them kind of blur into one place.  Each of these lit­tle munic­i­pal­i­ties has their own com­mu­nity cen­ters and parks. As in cities every­where these com­mu­nity cen­ters hosts events.

Sun­day we went to the 9th Annual Inter­na­tional Cul­tural Arts Fes­ti­val at the Mary­land Heights Cen­tre.  This lit­tle fes­ti­val had eth­nic food offer­ings, ven­dors, a kid’s room and two stages of enter­tain­ment.  The smaller room where the smaller stage was always so crowded we could never fit but we could hear the fun music com­ing from inside.  The stage in the larger room hosted peo­ple per­form­ing dif­fer­ent styles of dance from around the globe.Coloring flower pots courtesy of the STL Art Museum

First we saw the Irish Dancers from a local school.  They were danc­ing in dresses that had sequins and iri­des­cent designs so ES was sold and wants to sign up.

Next came the Shaolin Lohan Pai Lion Dance Troupe–Southern Chi­nese Lion Dancers & Dai-Tou-Fut.  H and G acted like they were not so impressed because appar­ently the danc­ing lions had come to their school ear­lier in the week.  ES was excited but S was very ner­vous.  He was sus­pect when they were on stage but the sec­ond that they started to move among the crowd he pan­icked.  He strug­gled from my arms and clam­bered under the chairs, pop­ping up on the other side, keep­ing his eyes on that beast but hold­ing tight to the chair.  It was sad and so funny.  When they went back on stage he came back to his seat, but when one came down our isle he was back under the chair and this time had to hide under the coat draped over the chairs back.  When the per­for­mance was over and the lions were gone he came out reluc­tantly and we went to get some­thing to eat.  We made it as far as the lobby but who was there block­ing our path–two danc­ing lions. Poor, S.  He was on edge the rest of the day. Every time he heard a drum or cym­bal he was cer­tain a huge head that was out to eat him was close behind.watching some of the dancers

We finally made it though, ate, and then headed to the World Encoun­ters area where the kids painted flow­er­pots, played, and made pup­pets.  On the way out we stopped at the main stage one more time and caught the Afro-Cuban & Afro-Haitian Dancers.  All in all it was a good way to spend a rainy win­ter day.  Oh, and I for­got to men­tion that with the excep­tion of the food it was all for free.  Thank you Mary­land Heights and thank you to all of the amaz­ing per­form­ers for shar­ing a bit of your cul­ture with my chil­dren.  We will see you again next year!

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