Little Lotus Company

In the News

In January 2012, "The Charlotte Observer" wrote the following article about us!

Troupe brings Chinese culture to the stage
Group marks Lunar New Year with traditional dance performances.
By Karen Sullivanksullivan@charlotteobserver.com
Mykayla Long spends most of her week juggling the same responsibilities as other 15-year-olds - homework, chores and other jobs. However, life takes an even faster pace as the Chinese New Year approaches. Mykayla and the 16 other girls in the Little Lotus Troupe will travel around Charlotte and the region to perform at local Chinese and Lunar New Year events. The Lunar New Year begins Monday. 
Published on 2012-01-22

About Us

    The Little Lotus Troupe, led by Ms. XiaoSongr, has been in much demand in Charlotte and surrounding areas since they made their debut in the fall of 2004, with Chinese dances performed in authentic costumes, and even fashion shows.

 

    The performance group was organized to offer a unique opportunity for children of Chinese heritage to learn and enjoy traditional and contemporary dance and other Chinese performing arts.

 

    The Little Lotus Troupe consists of nineteen girls ranging in age from five to seventeen years old.  The Troupe is comprised of two groups: one is known as the “Mei Mei Class” (Mei Mei means younger sister in Chinese) and the other is referred to as the “Jie Jie Class” (Jie Jie meaning older sister in Chinese). 

 

    Classes consist of stretching exercises and warm-ups, followed by instruction in dance technique, and then learning and perfecting their dances, which are performed to Chinese music or songs.  The troupe has also participated in fashion shows, where they modeled Chinese New Year outfits and colorful Chinese fashions, including qi paos, a traditional lady’s formal dress. In recent years, their fashion shows have been enjoyed at several Chinese New Year celebrations and children’s festivals. 

 

    To prepare for their dance season, the dancers attend a week-long workshop in the summer where they learn a new dance, while training rigorously to improve body strength and posture through ballet stretches and yoga. They also learn Chinese head, chest, arm, hand, leg and foot work through serious training and watching videos of Chinese dancers. The children have also learned to twirl dance handkerchiefs, even tossing them into the air and then catching them. It was both challenging and fun!

 

    Each year, Little Lotus Troupe showcases a new dance during Chinese New Year for organizations such as the Chinese American Association of Charlotte, Davidson College, UNCC and the Peaceful Dragon amongst others.  They also join in the Chinese New Year celebrations with Families with Children from China (FCC), a local branch of a National Organization of families who have adopted children from China.  In the early Spring of 2008, the youngest in that audience gathered excitedly around the stage to watch the dancers with their hair in red ribbons, swinging lanterns and dancing in bright red costumes which were custom-made in China.  

 In addition, the troupe typically performs each year at UNC Charlotte’s I-Fest, the Asian Festival/Dragon Boat Festival, and at many other Asian New Year Celebrations in Charlotte, Mecklenburg and surrounding counties. The little Lotus Troupe even performs in South Carolina. Since 2009, the troupe has performed each year, at the Myrtle Beach Museum  (Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum),during their "Free Family Day: Chinese New Year" Celebration.

     In their well-known “Red Handkerchief Dance,” the dancers wear bright red and emerald-green costumes.  They flash sequined red handkerchiefs throughout the dance, even twirling them on their fingertips while lying on the floor! 

 

    Another of their earlier dances, called “Sunlight, Moonlight,” was performed in pink costumes with flowers fluttering in their hands and silver stars twinkling in their hair.

 

 

 

 

    Their repertoire for 2007 included both a Fan Dance and a Lantern Dance which became popular for the colorful props. They were performed many times, including a special remembrance service held in memory of victims of the earthquake in Sichuan Province. They also participated in other fund raising charity events, such as the Tsunami Disaster Relief Fundraiser in January, 2005.

 

    New for 2008 is an Umbrella Dance, which was first performed at the Gandhi Memorial Dedication in Uptown Charlotte on October 5.

 

    A Chinese drum dance is performed by the older members of the troupe. The drum dance requires a great deal of physical strength; it combines artistic and physical techniques, and mixes dance, gymnastics and Chinese drum art all in one.

 

    Because of the growing demand, XiaoSong started a younger class, the Mei Mei Class, in the fall of 2008. She has been teaching a Chinese favorite: the Little Mouse Dance, which describes how cute little mouselings are caught by their traditional foes: the cats.

 

Half of the girls play the part of the cats, the other half play the mice.  It is a fun dance that was first performed, several years ago, by the older girls in the troupe. 

A few members of the original troupe are enjoying this dance for a second time, dancing along with the youngest members who have recently joined the Little Lotus Troupe.

 

    The "Red Handkerchief Dance" was performed by this new Mei Mei group in 2009-2010, who has done a wonderful job in following in their older "sisters" footsteps. Watching them, reminded all the older members and their families, of how small and young they were then and how much they have grown since.

    In 2009, the new "Dance of Kites" was introduced. This dance featured Llily, MyKayla, Holly and Athena. It is the lengthiest dance the Little Lotus Troupe has ever presented to its beloved audience.

    In addition to the dance classes and performance opportunities, the girls share pride in their Chinese heritage and a special relationship with each other, much like sisters.

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