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纽约舞狮队:在曼哈顿寻找中国根

更新时间:2017-1-23 18:54:28 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

A Club Where Lions Dance and Traditions Take Root
纽约舞狮队:在曼哈顿寻找中国根

The first thing you notice in the stairwell to the fourth-floor studio on Canal Street in Manhattan is the measured thumping coming from behind a metal door.

在曼哈顿运河街这个位于四楼的工作室的楼梯间,你注意到的第一件事,就是一扇金属门后传来的有规则的击鼓声。

Just beyond the entrance, large papier-mâché lion masks were twisting and turning to the drumbeat. On a recent Friday evening, the teenagers made their way across the studio floor — sagging from decades of jumps and lunges — as they practiced Chinese lion dancing.

一进门,就可以看到大型的纸质狮头跟着鼓点舞动、旋转。在近日一个周五的晚上,一群少年在工作室里做了几十个跳跃和猛扑后显得疲倦委顿——他们这是在练习中国舞狮。

“You want to play in a circle,” Victor Fong, 24, told his students at the New York Chinese Freemasons Athletic Club. “Take it slow and do it again.”

“你们要舞成一个圈子,”24岁的维克多·方(Victor Fong)告诉纽约洪青体育会(NY Chinese Freemasons Athletic Club)的学员。“慢慢舞,再做一次。”

The dance troupe, made up of 60 members, performs throughout the year but was now preparing for its biggest events, Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, which will begin on Saturday and conclude on Feb. 15. Teenagers comprise about half of the group, many of whom began lion dancing at 14.

舞狮队有60名成员,全年皆有表演,但现在他们正在为最盛大的中国春节庆祝活动做准备,庆祝将于本周六开始,2月15日结束。舞狮队中约有一半都是十多岁的少年,其中很多人从14岁就开始舞狮。

About 100 current and past members of the troupe — which has been performing since 1956 — will be among the 220 groups marching through Chinatown in Manhattan for the 18th Lunar New Year Parade on Feb. 5.

这个舞狮队成立于1956年,大约有100名前队员和现任队员将参加2月5日在曼哈顿华埠举行的第18届春节大游行,届时将有220个团体参加这个游行。

Mr. Fong has been involved in the organization since he was 15 and began teaching lion dancing three years ago. But the club also acts as a recreation center and safe haven for teenagers, with video games readily available. As many as 20 students show up after school.

方先生从15岁开始就参加了这个舞狮队,三年前成为了舞狮教员。但这个俱乐部也被用作娱乐中心和青少年的安全避风港,随时可以玩电子游戏。多达20名学生放学后会来这里。

“The basic requirement for hanging out here is you have to learn how to lion dance,” Mr. Fong said. While that is not a formal requirement for being a member, everyone finds a way to participate in the Lunar New Year Parade, whether it’s by dancing, carrying a flag or beating a drum.

“来这里玩的基本要求就是你必须学会如何舞狮,”方先生说。这不是成为会员的正式要求,每个人都可以参与春节大游行,无论是舞狮、举旗还是打鼓。

Alvin Chau, 26, is an environmental consultant by day and a lion dancer on weekends. He has been a club member for 10 years and joined because of an interest in lion dance.

26岁的阿尔文·周(Alvin Chau)是一位环保顾问,在周末则是一名舞狮队成员。他当舞狮队员已经有10年了,当时是因为对舞狮感兴趣加入俱乐部的。

“Everyone is a big family,” he said, shaking hands with other members as they walked through the door. “You know everyone.”

“每个人都属于一个大家庭,”他一边说,一边与每个走过门的成员握手。“每个人你都认识。”

It is believed that the lion dance began in the third century.

舞狮据信始于公元三世纪。

Stories vary about how lion dancing came to be, but most of them include a monster named Nian who would terrorize a village. The villagers finally banded together and scared the beast away with firecrackers and drums. While lions are not native to China, some versions of the story include the villagers creating a monster of their own in the shape of a lion to fight off the beast.

关于舞狮的起源,传说各有不同,但大多数都提到一个名为“年”的怪物恐吓村民。最后,村民们聚集到一起,用鞭炮和鼓吓走了怪物。狮子不是中国本土动物,不过一些传说提到村民们自己创造了一个狮子形状的怪物,击退了“年”。

Today, the dancers travel across Chinatown going from business to business to bring good luck for the coming year.

今天,他们舞着狮子经过华埠的每家店铺,为来年带来好运。

The new year — 4714 according to the Chinese lunar calendar — will begin on Saturday and marks the Year of the Rooster, which is thought to be a symbol of positivity.

新年(按中国农历算是4714年)将从周六开始,这标志着鸡年的到来,人们认为这是吉利的象征。

“It’s almost like the dark night is ending and the sun is coming up,” said Ya Yung Teng, the digital collections coordinator for the Museum of Chinese in America. “It’s hopeful that we’re going to have a new day.”

“这差不多就好像是黑夜结束,太阳升起了。”美国华人博物馆的数字收藏协调员腾雅云(音)说,“希望我们有新的一天。”

Roosters and chickens are not particularly strong creatures, Ms. Teng said, but they are numerous.

滕女士说,公鸡和小鸡并不是特别强壮的动物,但它们的数量众多。

“In a way,” she said, the rooster “stands for ‘We the People.’”

“在某种程度上,”她说,公鸡“象征‘我们人民’”。

The lion head and adjoining tail are operated by two people, and their dance is weighted heavily in martial arts. As one person masters the head, a second follows under a train of fabric representing the body. The dancers move in unison as they mimic the animal’s approach to a carcass, the slyness of the walk and the aggressiveness of an attack.

狮头和狮尾由两个人操作,他们的动作需要很强的武术功底。一个人控制狮头,第二个人藏在外罩下面,代表狮子的身体。舞狮人的动作要协调,因为他们模仿的是狮子接近猎物,步伐要狡猾,要有狩猎的攻击性。

A lion head figure weighs under 10 pounds and sits squarely on the dancer’s shoulders. Inside, the dancer manipulates strings that wink the head’s eyelids, shake its ears and open its mouth to reveal a fire-orange tongue.

近10磅(约合9斤)重的狮头完全压在舞者的肩膀上。这名舞者还要在里面牵线,让狮子眨眼、动耳朵以及张开大嘴,露出鲜红的舌头。

“A good lion dancer will simulate a living creature,” said Karlin Chan, 59, who heads the athletic club’s community outreach.

“一名好的舞狮者能模仿得活灵活现,”负责该体育会社区推广工作的59岁的卡林·陈(Karlin Chan)说。

“I started lion dancing when I was a kid,” he said. “Chinatown was much smaller then and it was a celebration with fireworks and firecrackers, which added a lot of flavor and meaning to it.”

“我从小就开始舞狮,”他说。“那时候唐人街比现在小得多,庆祝活动有烟花爆竹,让它多了许多韵味和意义。”

The dance itself has also evolved.

舞蹈本身也在演进。

“In the old days it was a way to show your martial-arts school’s proficiency and how good you were,” Mr. Chan said. “Now it’s evolved into more of a dance.”

“在以前,那是展示你在武校的水平、显示你技艺有多高超的一种方式,”陈先生说。“现在它更多的是一种舞蹈。”

Mr. Chan buys a new lion head each year when he travels to China. A head costs about $1,500.

陈先生每年去中国的时候都会买一个新的狮头。一个狮头售价约1500美元(约合1万人民币)。

“If you want the good stuff, the quality, you have to see it for yourself,” Mr. Chan said. “I’ll inspect the product before we put it in the crate and send it over.”

“如果你想要好东西、有品质的东西,就得亲自去看看,”陈先生说。“在东西装进箱子发货之前,我会仔细进行检查。”

Mr. Chan, who has been involved with the club for nearly 50 years, said that passing the dance from one generation to the next was vital.

加入这个体育会已经近50年的陈先生表示,将舞狮这项技艺一代代往下传承,是至关重要的。

“You need to pass on the traditions and the culture, and this is a part of our culture,” he said. “It’s a great way to promote cultural understanding and cultural exchange; we welcome that.”

“传统与文化需要传承,这是我们文化的一部分,”他说。“这是促进文化理解与交流的一种很不错的方式;我们乐见其成。”

For Sara Pore, 17, another club member, lion dance is more than just tradition; it provides a creative outlet.

对体育会的另一名成员、17岁的莎拉·波雷(Sara Pore)而言,舞狮不只是传统;它还是一种颇具创造性的表达方式。

“Lion dancing started 2,000 years ago — that’s incredible,” she said. “But what makes you a competent lion dancer is that there is a sense of imagination involved. Lion dancing teaches competence in leadership because of this. You’re constantly forced to push yourself past your limit.”

“舞狮活动始于2000年前——这真不可思议,”她说。“要成为一名合格的舞狮者,需要有一种想象力。正因如此,舞狮可以培养领导能力。你不得不一直逼着自己超越自身的极限。”

Back at rehearsal, Justin Le, 18, tied a red sash around his waist to practice jumping. The dancers use the sashes to pull themselves up over their partners’ heads. The room’s ceilings are too low to wear the lion heads for jumping practice, so once up on his partner’s head, Mr. Le held out his arms as if in offering.

回到排练现场,18岁的贾斯汀·李(Justin Le)在腰上系了一根红腰带,以便练习跳跃。舞者们用腰带把自己拉高,越过搭档们的头。这间屋子的天花板太低,无法在练习的时候带狮头,李一登上同伴的头顶,就举起自己的胳膊,好像顶着狮头一般。

Mr. Le comes by the dance as a legacy.

他之所以会舞狮,是因为家族传承。

“I was born into it,” Mr. Le said, noting that his uncle and father were club members. “Growing up, I would always watch my family and see the lion dance, and I slowly grew interested in it.”

“我一生下来就接触这个,”贾斯汀·李说道。他提到自己的叔伯和父亲就是体育会的成员。“从小到大,一直看家人舞狮,看舞狮表演,我慢慢也产生了兴趣。”

By 14, he was fully enrolled in the athletic club’s lion dance troupe.

14岁的时候,他正式加入了这个体育会的舞狮队。

“I value my culture and tradition, being Chinese or Asian-American. I have a lot of pride in that,” he said. “I want to contribute and give back to the community.”

“作为一名华裔或亚裔美国人,我很重视文化与传统。它让我感到十分自豪,”他说。“我想做点贡献,回馈社区。”

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