S’pore lion dance troupes practising piano renditions of tunes as ban on drums could be extended

Posted on 08 February 2015

They are willing to cope with string instruments as long as Singapore is safe and harmonious.


Lion dance troupes in Singapore are putting their trademark drum sets and cymbals away, starting this Chinese New Year.

Instead of relying on loud banging and crashing sounds during performances that could potentially flout the law, many dance troupes said they will start practising piano renditions of classic lion dance tunes to keep up with Singapore’s anti-drumming laws.

Singapore, this past week, arrested three people during Thaipusam because they were doing something against the law.

Wu Shi, one of the leading lion dance troupe members, said he is not worried that choreographing dance moves using piano tunes will change the feel of the performance and an abandonment of tradition: “The news of drums being banned during Thaipusam making the rounds these few days has made us realised that drums are potentially violent instruments that can unleash the baser instincts in humans.”

“As we are aware that drumming could be banned in other areas as they can be deemed to potentially flout the law, we have taken the first step of keeping up with the times by using pianos instead.”

“Furthermore, it is not fair to make Indians feel privileged in Singapore by banning drumming. All races must face bans when it comes to drumming, so that all races can feel privileged at the same time.”

At press time, concert organisers in Singapore have confirmed that all live acts performing in Singapore from this month onward will have to do so without percussion or any identifiable drum kit.


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Wang Pei can be considered a new citizen of Singapore. She has been here all her life, just that her environment's changed beyond recognition.

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