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Dance troupe withdraws from Chingay 2021 after dancers face 'cyberbullying' over tap dance segment

Dance troupe withdraws from Chingay 2021 after dancers face 'cyberbullying' over tap dance segment

Ten dancers from DSI were slated to tap dance in tutus while donning lion dance costumes during Chingay 2021. (Photo: 8world News)

SINGAPORE: A dance troupe has withdrawn from Chingay 2021, following online criticism of its dancers who were slated to take part in the parade.

The People's Association (PA) said on Monday (Dec 28) in a joint statement with Dance Spectrum International (DSI) and Singapore Wushu Dragon & Lion Dance Federation (SWDLDF) that the segment was scrapped "in consideration of the young dancers affected by cyberbullying".

According to 8world News, Chingay 2021 was to feature 100 lions in a four-minute lion dance performance, with five lions manned by dancers from DSI.

The 10 dancers were supposed to tap dance in tutus while donning lion dance costumes, while the rest of the performers will be in traditional costumes.

However an online post shared by DSI featuring the dancers, aged between 14 and 30, drew online criticism and the three groups met separately over the week to "find ways to resolve the matter".

"All three parties also agreed that while we welcome different views on artistic expression, we do not condone online hurtful remarks and personal attacks on individuals posted on social media," said the joint statement posted on the PAssion Chingay Club Facebook page.

"It is not consistent with the gracious and inclusive society that we wish to see."

PA and SWDLDF expressed support and solidarity with DSI, and said they hope the young dancers would "heal from the harm done to them".


DSI had shared a link on Facebook on Dec 11 of a video featuring their dancers in tutus donning lion dance costumes.

The post drew criticism, with several comments claiming the segment was disrespectful towards the Chinese culture.

A petition was subsequently set up on and directed at the People's Association, calling for the troupe to "stop the insult".

As of Dec 29, the post has drawn 1,219 signatories.

"What travesty is this, the very act of wearing tutus under the lion dance costume which is considered a second skin to us who are members of Singapore's finest lion dance troupes!" said the creator of the petition, going by the moniker Lion Dance Singapore.

"What audacity does one have to possess in order to mar the very fabric of Chinese cultural performance in the name of creativity?"

Lion Dance Singapore added that Chingay parades are to showcase "diverse cultural identities" instead of "destroying a cultural image in the name of creativity", and called for the dance segment to be dropped from this year's parade.

Source: CNA/ic(ta)


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