Sunday, July 10, 2016
Nam Pai Lion Dance Training June 4th, 2016
The story of Nam Pai and Ultimate Fitness is an interesting one because not only is t a huge Kung Fu school, it's a space where Kung Fu masters can get a start, rent some space and put together a group. In other words in more ways than one it enables a community to continue the Kung Fu tradition. Not only that, but Donald Wong, Larry Wong, and Kenneth Wong (who are not related actually) are real Chinatown Old Timers, and leaders in the Chinatown Community and beyond. Donald Wong is actually a State Rep for Saugus. So there is a lot going on here in terms of being a jewel of Chinatown beyond just Kung Fu and lion dance.... and on top of that, they do Kung Fu and Lion Dance.
I heard that they may even be a Lion Dance competition that could take place in Chinatown this year. There has been one n Worcester. But in your mind, even if the New England Champions of Kung Fu and Lion Dance are from another part of Massachusetts or even out of State, you will always think of Chinatown first when thinking of these arts. Which is why it is important than people with strong business sense and organizing skills can put things like this together for the community.
Funny thing, I bumped into some of the Lion Dancers from Nam Pai again at the GK graduation because they were watching their friends graduate. It's all connected of course, and this Lion Dance art is one of the many ways in which far flung members of the greater Chinatown Community (i.e. people that now live outside of Chinatown but still have roots and interests in the neighborhood) can stay connected to old friends as well as forge new bonds through drums, rituals, and performance.