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Dragonfly Spring



  Volume 4, Issue 3                                                                                Spring 2006

         Guest Spotlight:                                            The Art & History of
      ACA LION DANCE                                                     Lotus Steps
By Patrick Pieng                                            By Justina Du
External Affairs President                                  Instructor
    The ACA Lion Dance Team is a relatively new                   Lianhua bu, or lotus steps, is not only the name
group formed through the UCLA Association of                of our dance production every year, but is also one
Chinese Americans (UCLA ACA) during the 2001-               of the traditional, signature moves in Chinese cul-
2002 school year. The team was founded by Anwer             tural dance. But what exactly are lotus steps? Lian-
Khan, Justin Chan, Tiffani Mah, and Bobby Chin.             hua bu is the poetic expression for the traditional
The Lion Dance team was originally formed to be             practice of foot-binding.
part of ACA's Chinese American Culture Night                      Foot-binding did not always invoke images of
(CACN). The team continued to grow over the                 pain and suffering. It was intended to enhance the
years and has been invited to entertain and perform         grace, femininity, and civility of women. It began in
at many locales and celebrations in the Los Angeles         the twelfth century when women would skillfully
area.                                                       wrap cloth around their feet. Methods and styles of
    The ACA Lion Dance Team started with 13                 binding the feet differed with geography, age, and
members and 2 lions and has now grown to include            occasion but it usually involved the compression of
20 members and 5 lions. The ACA Lion Dance                  the four smaller digits into a pointy and narrow tip
Team has the mission to enrich the lives of all past,       while folding and bending the foot at midpoint into
present, and future members by teaching them                an arch. This effectively redirected the weight of
about the Chinese culture through the art of tradi-         the body so that the wearer rested on the tip of the
tional Chinese Lion Dance. The ACA Lion Dance               big toe, the other bent toes, and the back of the
Team has been invited to perform the opening                heel. Foot-binding changed the shape of the foot
number in Lotus Steps 2006.                                 and the women’s gait.
                       (Please see ACA Lion Dance, p. 3)          Foot-binding gained a following during the
                                                            prosperous commercialized economy of the Song
           Inside This Edition!                             dynasty (960-1279) in China because it became a
                                                            form of status hierarchy. The slender, elaborately
     The Korean People & Their Dance (pg. 2)                made slippers and dainty steps that was a result of
                                                            foot-binding signified class and desirability. It was a
    The History of CCDC & Lotus Steps (pg. 4)               display of status that originated in court and spread
                                                            to the gentry families, courtesans, and actresses.
       Young Girls’ Passion for Dance (pg. 6)                     Today, lotus steps can be seen in Chinese tradi-
                                                            tional dance, as in the steps the feather fan dancers
                                                            take. Although no longer caused by the binding of
                      Comic (pg. 7)
                                                            the feet, the small, graceful steps that traditional
                                                            dancers portray are reminiscent of long ago. They
       A Look at Mongolian Costume (pg. 8)                  still embody the eloquence and class of the Han
                                                            court and the women that made up a part of Chi-
                Health & Fitness (pg. 9)                    nese history.

                                                     Dragonfly 1
Chinese Folk Dance Series
  Expressing Subtleties: The Chaoxian (Korean) People & Their Dance
By Patty Hung
     Many might wonder why there would be Korean
dances included in a Chinese cultural dance perform-
ance. The fact of the matter is, Korean dance is con-
sidered to be one of the seven major types of Chinese
folk dance, and the most difficult one at that.
     The Korean (or Chaoxian, as they are referred to
by the Chinese) population in China is approximately
1.9 million. Most live in northeastern China in the Jilin,
Heilongjiang, and Liaoning Provinces near the Korean
border. Immigrants from Korea, especially North Ko-
rea, have been filtering into China since the 17th cen-                                                Photo by Blaine Harrington.
     As such, most of the Korean influence on Chinese        work technique.
dance has been of the North Korean style. The North               The “Plum Blossom” piece in the “America!” por-
Koreans have developed their traditional dances to           tion of Lotus Steps 2005 was a composite of Korean
have more lift in the body, bringing the dancers onto        folk dance and modern dance. Many of the elements
their toes. The South Korean tradition, in contrast,         of Korean dance were included in the piece. Another
mostly involves moving laterally over the floor and has      great example of Korean dance was “Happiness,” a
fewer up-and-down motions.                                   fan dance solo performed by former CCDC choreog-
     All traditions of Korean dance, however, are distin-    rapher and instructor Jessica Lee in Lotus Steps 2003.
guished from other types of Chinese cultural dance by             What makes Korean dance especially difficult is
its emphasis on breathing. Although breathing is an          the breathing technique and the exaggeration of sub-
important part of any type of dance, it becomes exter-       tleties in movement, which seems to be ironic in itself.
nalized and exaggerated in Korean dance. The dancer’s        The magic of Korean dance is being able to magnify
breathing is not only done in the regular sense, but also    the subtle changes of emotion inside oneself so that
through the hands, shoulders, and the rest of the body.      they are translated into exhilarating expressions in
     The importance of breathing in Korean dance is          movement. If done correctly, Korean dance can be
linked to the importance of rhythm. Rather than sup-         one of the most vibrant and expressive cultural
porting the movements, rhythm plays an active role in        dances.
that the dancer actually creates rhythm through breath-
ing and movement. The result is an intricate relation-
ship between the rhythm in the music and rhythm cre-
ated by the dancer.
     The costumes used in Korean dance also play a
major role in shaping the movements. Because female
dancers usually wear a dress consisting of a short upper
section ending mid-torso and a long, flowing bell-
shaped skirt, the dancer’s buttocks are always tucked in
beneath the waist. The dancer’s body always has a
more “convex” shape, in contrast with the “concave”
shape of Dai or Tibetan dance. Because the large skirt
hides the dancer’s legs, Korean dance emphasizes up-
per-body movements. Although the dancer still may
do complicated footwork, they are mostly done to sup-
port upper-body movements rather than to show foot-          Courtesy of Avante Photography. Featuring dancers in the piece called
                                                             “Plum Blossom” in Lotus Steps 2005.

                                                      Dragonfly 2
(ACA Lion Dance, continued)                           ACA Coordinators: The greatest challenge will be
                                                      creating a routine that will not only fit in well with
     Currently the ACA Lion Dance Team has three
                                                      the theme of 'Celebration' but one that enhances the
coordinators: Sondra Wong, 4th year, Sociology
                                                      show altogether. We will be opening the show, so
Major, Education Minor; Truong Ma, 4th year, Biol-
                                                      we'll have to pump up the audience and give them a
ogy Major; and Yeat Yang, Graduate Student, Elec-
                                                      taste of what's in stored for them in the rest of the
trical Engineering Major. The following interview
was conducted with the ACA Lion Dance Team
Coordinators:                                      Patrick: What do you and your members hope to
                                                   learn from this experience? What do you hope
Patrick: How do you feel about your coming en-
                                                   CCDC members learn from your members through
gagement in CCDC's annual production Lotus Steps
                                                   this experience?
                                                   ACA Coordinators: There is a lot that CCDC and
ACA Coordinators: ACA Lion Dance is excited
                                                   Lion Dance can learn from each other. They both
about the opportunity to participate in CCDC's Lo-
                                                   require great skill, endurance, and dedication. It is
tus Steps 2006 performance this year. We both rep-
                                                   inspiring to see those aspects manifested in different
resent Chinese culture yet we've never performed
                                                   forms. We hope the CCDC dancers dance with the
together before, so this will be a good chance for
                                                   ferocity of lions and the lions perform with the
members from both organizations to talk and learn
                                                   gracefulness of dancers.
more about our dances and traditions.
Patrick: What are some of the challenges that lie For more information, please visit the ACA Lion Dance
ahead as you prepare for your guest performance in Team’s website at
Lotus Steps 2006?

                                                        Please join us for...

                                              Lotus Steps, 2006
                                              —A Celebration—
                                                     Saturday, May 20th, 7pm
                                                         UCLA Royce Hall

                                                Dragonfly 3
            The History of CCDC & Lotus Steps
By Justina Du

 February 6, 2000
 CCDC receives its official charter;
 Kelley Lee, Nancy Lu and Cheery
 Yen become the 1st executive board
 presidents with Josephine Chen as
 the Artistic Director.
                                                CCDC's very first Lotus Steps takes place on November 29 in
                                                Northwest Campus Auditorium with 15 performers. This per-
                                                formance features technique demonstrations, a historical fashion
                                                show, a work in progress - "Spring," and two short dance pieces
                                                - "A Walk in the Park" and "Ti-O-O."

 2000                                                                                   2001

                Dance instruction be-       “An Afternoon with                  April 12, 2002
                gins with 5 students.       CCDC,” the precursor to             The 2nd annual Lotus Steps per-
                                            Lotus Steps, is hosted in           formance takes place with 22
                                            Bruin Plaza.                        performers at Northwest Cam-
                                                                                pus Auditorium.


 April 28. 2002
 The 3rd annual Lotus Steps performance takes place in
 Northwest Campus Auditorium takes place. It aban-
 dons the previous recital style format of technique
 demonstrations and fashion shows and features over
 30 performers and 13 cultural dances. Tickets were                        The first Lotus Steps Production
 "sold out" within 48 hours of distribution.                               Committee is formed in preparation
                                                                           for Lotus Steps 2004.

 2002                                                      2003
                                                                        April 27, 2003
 Josephine Louie invites six young                                      The 4th annual Lotus Steps performance
 dancers from the “Chinese Cultural                                     takes place with standing room only in
 Summer Dance Workshop” to                                              Northwest Campus Auditorium. This
 participate in CCDC, marking the                                       production features over 40 dancers and
 beginning of our junior dancers.                                       16 cultural dances, and for the first time
                                                                        offers two acts in the performance.
                                                                 ∆                (Please see History of CCDC, p. 5)
                                                   Dragonfly 4
(History of CCDC, cont.)

Junior dancers, along with Families with Chil-
dren from China-So Cal, helps CCDC raise
over $1000 in contributions during their Ma
Jong Benefit, to support the cost of produc-
tion for Lotus Steps 2004.


                           April 27, 2004
                           The 5th annual Lotus Steps entitled Transitions,
                           featuring over 150 performers and 15 cultural
                           dance pieces, takes place for the first time at
                           world reknown Royce Hall. The performance
                           featured collaborations with the Kinnara Taiko
                           Group and the New Philadelphia AME, an Afri-
                           can American adult choir group.


May 7, 2005
The 6th annual Lotus Steps 2005 enti-
tled A New Beginning takes place fea-                                     +
turing “America,” CCDC’s first ever
dance epic. This contemporary piece is a                                      May 20, 2006
compilation of five perspectives on what                                      Lotus Steps becomes the 6th an-
it means to be Chinese-American. The                                          nual production featuring over 90
music for “America” was commissioned                                          performers. The show features
and especially written for the epic by                                        guest performers from ACA Lion
Alex Lu and performed live by the Pasa-                                       Dance Team, Chinese Folk Dance
dena Young Musicians Orchestra.                                               Troupe and Envision Vocals.


2005                                                               2006
 CCDC hosts “Midday             Josephine Louie, artistic
 Masquerade,” a benefit         director since the found-                                Photography Credits
 function for Lotus                                                                + Courtesy of Avante Photography
                                ing of the club, retires                               ∆ Courtesy of Eric Chen
 Steps 2005 at the Spi-         from CCDC leaving the                                ^ Courtesy of Kinnara Taiko
 der Club in Avalon.            club entirely student-run.                              Photographer Unknown

                                                     Dragonfly 5
               Point of View: Young Girls’ Passion for Dance
By Patrick Pieng
External Affairs President

This article is dedicated to all the young dancers that        engagements throughout the community.
have become so important to CCDC. We thank them                     These young girls have taught their older sisters in
for their dedication, priceless smiles, witty sayings, and     the club that persistence is the key to success. Each
love for dance. We also have to thank the parents that         week, the girls come to dance rehearsals with a smile on
have contributed in so many ways to make this club a           their faces, ready to practice. Alongside coming to
successful organization. We wish our junior dancers            class, they spend time on their own learning the details
and their families the best of luck as they work harder        of every dance move while juggling school work and
than any of the rest of us to prepare for Lotus Steps          other extracurricular activities. These dancers show a
2006, and we hope they stay with us for times to come.         level of maturity and sense of wisdom well beyond what
                                                               is expected of them at their young ages. Hopefully, the
    In 2003, Josephine Louie, former CCDC Artistic             club will continue to reach out to youth in the commu-
Director, invited six young dancers from the “Chinese          nity and make a difference in their lives by teaching
Cultural Summer Dance Workshop” that she organized             them about diversity in the community, the Chinese cul-
with Families with Children from China – Southern              ture, and being available to them as role models and big
California’s Jeri Floyd and Debbie Henderson. Since            sisters. Below is what the Urbancsik family has to say
then, CCDC has been very fortunate to have the junior          about their involvement in CCDC and we are so grateful
members dance with the club in the Lotus Steps pro-            that they are able to take away so much from their in-
ductions, at other UCLA campus venues, and at outside          volvement with the club.

For the past several years, the UCLA Chinese Cultural Dance Club has provided an extraordinary experience for its
junior dancers. The CCDC instructors have shown boundless optimism, support, and confidence in these young dancers,
and the CCDC cast and crew have been wonderful role models for these girls. And due to your efforts, junior dancers
have participated in the outstanding Lotus Steps 2003, Lotus Steps 2004, and Lotus Steps 2005 performances.
Our daughter Courtney has benefited from a broadened awareness and appreciation of the values and perspectives of
other cultures. She also has gained greater insight into the role that she will play in our increasingly integrated and
complex society.
                                           Roger and Mariann Urbancsik

                                                                           What I enjoy about CCDC is that we
                                                                           (known as the “junior dancers”) get to learn a
                                                                           new dance every year. I also like the people
                                                                           here at CCDC. I like them because nobody
                                                                           teases me, or asks me why I’m doing Chinese
                                                                           dance when I’m not a bit Chinese. But if
                                                                           anybody does ever ask me I will say “Because
                                                                           it’s fun, you should try it.” My favorite thing
                                                                           is dance. I also like jazz and ballet. But I
                                                                           really enjoy Chinese dance because it’s so
                                                                           different. It’s not like any other dance that I
                                                                           know of. It’s got its own meaning and feel-
                                                                           ing. In the past four years at CCDC I have
                                                                           learned a lot. I have learned a lot about Chi-
                                                                           nese dance. I have learned a lot about my
                                                                           friends here at CCDC. And I have learned a
                                                                           lot about myself, and what I can do.
                                                                                   By, Courtney Marie Urbancsik
                                          Courtesy of Avante Photography
                                                         Dragonfly 6
Drawing by Marla Goodman, Member

                                   Dragonfly 7
By Karen Tzong
Instructor & Production Manager, Finance
      Chinese dance costume is no doubt a reflection        horseback riding and covering the legs from the be-
of the lifestyle or customs of the distinctive Chinese      low freezing temperatures of Mongolia.
nationalities. The colors, cuts, and flourishes are              In Song of the Grasslands, a Mongolian dance to be
very telling of the environment and customs of the          presented in Lotus Steps 2006, the dancers adorn
Chinese people. Lotus Steps 2006 will showcase gar-         themselves with a red vest lined with fur, red skirt,
ments of various regions which closely resemble             and calf-length boots to emulate the traditional folk
that of traditional ethnic costume. This article initi-     dance dress of Mongolians. The costume is designed
ates a series of Chinese ethnic costume articles that       for maximum flexibility of the dancers imitating
will hopefully educate all readers about the origin         Mongolian people frolicking in the grasslands on
and meaning behind Chinese costumes of different            horseback.
minorities.                                                      The costuming for
      Imagine standing in the middle of vast grass-         Song of the Grasslands re-
lands staring out across the plains and seeing rolling      flects secular dress of
green hills in the distance. This landscape is charac-      the Mongolian people.
teristic of Mongolia where many of its inhabitants          Another type of Mongo-
travel by horseback and live nomadically following          lian dance is court dance
an annual migration cycle. Most early clothing was          which often portray the
made from animal skins until trading routes be-             wealthy or princely class
tween Tibet became more pronounced. Within                  with costuming from the
Mongolian people, there exist distinct tribes includ-       Halh Mongols, which
ing the Halh Mongols, Buryat, Dorvod, Barga,                make up 70 percent of
Darhad, Oold, and Torguud. Each ethnic group has            the Mongolian popula-
distinctive garments, however, this article will focus      tion. The dancers are
on secular dress.                                           adorned with colorful
      The deel is the common dress for Mongolians of        and patterned caftans
                              all genders and consists      usually made from im-             Courtesy of Michel Setboun, an
                              of a fully-sleeved caftan     ported Tibetan silks. example of Halh Mongol garment.
                              garment. High collars of      The most elaborate as-
                              the garment provide           pect of the costume is the headdress where the hair is
                              warmth and are often          fashioned into what some scholars believe to be
                              lined with animal fur.        horns of a wild sheep while others believe it to repre-
                              The woman’s deel is often     sent wings of a bird. Despite the inconsistency in the
                              supplemented by a long,       origin of the headdress, the fact that the headdress is
                              sleeveless over-caftan.       a tribute to the Mongolian love of land and living
                              Characteristically, the       creatures is indisputable.
                              sleeves of the deel end in                                           Courtesy of Michel Setboun
                              cuffs shaped like a horse’s
                              hoof. These cuffs are
                              lined with animal fur dur-
                              ing cold weather and can
                              be folded down to pro-
                              tect the hands from the
                              bitter cold. The common
                              footwear of Mongolians, an exam- is knee-high felt boots
 ple of the woman’s deel.     that are well adapted to

                                                      Dragonfly 8
                      Health & Fitness: Tone Your Tummy
 By Alison Hu
 Production Manager, Logistics

     So summer is right around the corner. And everybody is heading to the beach to hang out. No,
 we’re not talking about your belly. If you’re embarrassed by how your tummy looks in your favorite
 bikini, it’s not too late to do something about it! Sure, everyone puts on a few pounds during the colder
 months. It’s normal! Your body tends to store more fat during the winter months in order to make
 your body-heat preservation more efficient. So, now that summer’s here, it’s time to get rid of that flab!
 Here are 5 quick tips to help you help you feel confident in that bikini.

 •    Jog! People think that doing 500 crunches is going to get you a chiseled tummy. Now let’s not fool
 ourselves. If the fat is still covering that chiseled tummy, nobody is going to see those mountains. Now
 that the weather’s nice, take your dog out for a 20 minute jog preferably in the morning before you start
 your day. Not only does this allow for some heart-pumping cardio action, it also jump-starts your me-
 tabolism for the entire day! This translates to more calories burned throughout the day as your body
 uses more energy due to an increased metabolism.

 •   Drink milk and eat yogurt! For breakfast, instead of a high carb meal of bagels and coffee, give
 milk and yogurt a try! Both are loaded with calcium, which has been proven to help increase weight loss
 when compared to a diet without milk and yogurt. Also, there isn’t too much sugar in either choice.
 You will however, find lots of protein in either choice – a perfect way to help your muscles recover
 from your morning workout. The calcium in both will also help strengthen your bones.

 •    Crunches! 3 kinds.
 Everybody hates crunches. They hurt. Now that we’ve stated the obvious, it’s time to suck it up and
 hurt a little. In the end, it really pays off. Having a firm tummy will not only boost your confidence,
 but it increases your core set of muscles, which are important in balance, stabilization, and prevention of
      Standard crunch. Lie with your knees bent and hands by your ears. Now, picture yourself trying to
           reach into the sky with your entire upper body. Lift your entire upper body starting from the
           hips. Perform 3 sets of 25, resting for one minute in between each set. As you build more en-
           durance, raise the number of repetitions.
      Leg-up crunch: Now raise your legs and do the same crunch. Make sure you are not holding your
           head with your hands and using arm strength to lift your upper body. You want to focus on
           your tummy!
      Lower abdominal: Now lie with your legs out straight. Raise your legs slowly until they are perpen-
           dicular to the floor. Now, raise your hips and point your toes into the air. Lower your hips
           slowly and return your legs to the outstretched position without having them touch the floor.

               You are on your way to a tighter belly and just in time for some fun in the sun!

Would you like to write for the next issue of Dragonfly? UCLA Chinese Cultural Dance Club
If the answer is “yes,” please send articles to:         106 Tom Bradley International Hall
      or write to —> Box 95137
                                                         Los Angeles, CA 90095-1379

                                                   Dragonfly 9
Calendar of Events                             DRAGONFLY

                                               EXTERNAL AFFAIRS PRESIDENT: PATRICK PIENG
Dry Run Dates
                                               DRAGONFLY IS A QUARTERLY PUBLICATON FOR
   Sunday, April 23, 1:30-7pm JWC              THE MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS OF THE UCLA CHI-
   Sunday, May 7, 1:30-7pm JWC                 NESE CULTURAL DANCE CLUB.

                                               FOR QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, OR IF YOU WOULD
Work Light Rehearsal in Royce                  LIKE TO BE PLACED ON OUR MAILING LIST, PLEASE
  Wednesday, May 15th, approx. 5-10pm          CONTACT US AT CCDC@UCLA.EDU, OR VISIT OUR
                                               WEBSITE AT WWW.CCDCBRUINS.COM.
Tech Rehearsal in Royce                        UCLA CCDC IS A STUDENT-SUPPORTED GROUP.
   Friday, May 19th, ALL DAY                   CCDC IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE SPONSORSHIP OF
                                               THE OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AND
                                               SCHOLARS AND THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF OUR
Show Date!                                     DONORS. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BECOME A DO-
   Saturday, May 20th!!!                       NOR, PLEASE CONTACT US, OR MAKE YOUR CHECK
                                               PAYABLE TO UCLA CCDC AND MAIL IT TO:

                                                       UCLA CHINESE CULTURAL DANCE CLUB
                                                       106 TOM BRADLEY INTERNATIONAL HALL
                                                       BOX 95137
                                                       LOS ANGELES, CA 90095-1379


UCLA Chinese Cultural Dance Club
106 Tom Bradley International Hall
Box 951379
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1379

                                        Dragonfly 10

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