"Enter and you shall see the monster"
In the Lion’s Den is an experimental video work that instigates the queering of a long gate-kept tradition. In a glaringly subversive light, this slow-moving choreographic work reframes façades of the millennia-old Lion Dance ritual, and interrogates one’s cultural burdens within the harsh and rigid confines of a heteronormative world.
As a celebrated tradition, Lion Dancing boasts playful costuming, spirited movements, and the power to cast away evil. Yet, the troupe fails to challenge contemporary China's gender-stereotyping and queer-phobic attitudes. For who and how may the lion move? Under its high-flung hood, there is an unending, anxious dance between desire and taboo.
In the Lion’s Den conceives a lion with latex-bound hands, meticulously choreographed and synchronised. It confronts the public gaze with a compulsively erotic yet unapologetic energy. It compels a closer look. It demands a constant attention as it moves, breathes, and lives.
Accompanying the lion is a short text adapted from Jean Genet's The Tightrope Walker, as well as a 2-channel recording of a moving body inside a narrow tunnel of an abandoned gold mine. The flesh tugs, tumbles and slams, defying gravity and fumbling its way deeper into the lion's den. On the rocky descend, we ask: what are the gatekeepers and onlookers afraid of?
Creators: Derrick Duan and Derek Ho
Animator and Performer: Derrick Duan
 Camera and Editing: Derek Ho
Commissioned for: White Night Bendigo
Original Title:   醒時 (Awakening)
New Title: In The Lion's Den

Themes: LGBTQIA+, Chinese Culture

You may also like

Back to Top