Alhambra Source's senior editor Daniela Gerson was honored last Friday to ceremonially paint the eyes of the lions for the Mark Keppel High School dance group. The painting symbolically brings the lions to life and is traditionally performed by a significant member of the community.
Jeu Foon, music and events coordinator for the Monterey Park Farmers Market, said he invited Gerson to recognize Alhambra Source's contribution to the community — and because he thought it would help more people know about the Friday evening market.
"I love the Alhambra Source (AS) format and 'philosophy.' I grew up in a small town in Arkansas and went to engineering school in a small college town in Missouri," Foon wrote in an email. "Alhambra Source is the only print or online news source that opens its pages to the locals to inform, vent, or opinionate much as would occur in the local gossip/coffee shop of most small towns in America."
The lion dance is performed by two dancers in costume who mimic a lion's movement, with one dancer at the head of the lion and one at the tail, according to Shaolin Fists Kung Fu Centre. As Gerson painted each lion, they began to come to life — flickering eyes and opening mouths to the delight of the audience.
"I was captivated by the lions, and adored the way they moved and engaged with the audience," Gerson said. "It was a true honor to be able to participate in the ceremony. I was so impressed with the young dancers that by the end I wanted to learn lion dance myself!"
Many of the members of the Mark Keppel team also train with The Immortals. More information on the dance troupe can be found here. More pictures from the event are available on the Alhambra Source Facebook page.