With fish and turtles swimming around them, divers performed an underwater lion dance in a Malaysian aquarium on Friday, in a fresh take on the traditional Lunar New Year performance. Two people wearing a multi-coloured lion suit performed in one of the tanks at Aquaria in Kuala Lumpur, as musicians played cymbals and drums outside. Turtles and colourful fish glided past the lion as it lumbered around in front of a rock formation. “The underwater lion dance is something unique… here in the aquarium,” Aquaria executive director Daryl Foong told reporters. To undertake the tricky task, the divers get special training and use suits that are light enough for them to perform while underwater, he added. Aquaria has put on the underwater dance several times in recent years. Lion dances are traditionally performed in China and among ethnic Chinese communities all over the world to mark the Lunar New Year, which falls at the start of February this year. In the traditional art form, two or more performers put on a colourful head and cloak, and try to mimic a lion’s movements, accompanied by music. Some believe that the dance can help ward off evil spirits and bring good luck. About a quarter of Muslim-majority Malaysia’s 32 million inhabitants are ethnic Chinese.
Underwater lion dance in Malaysia before Lunar New Year
Divers performed an underwater lion dance in a Malaysian aquarium on Wednesday as fish and sharks swam around them, putting a new twist on the traditional Lunar New Year performance. Two people put on the multi-colored lion suit and performed in one of the tanks at Aquaria in Kuala Lumpur, as musicians played cymbals and drums outside. The lion lumbered around in front of a rock formation, while a shark and some colorful fish glided past. Aquarium manager Daryl Foong said it was no easy task performing a lion dance underwater.
Filming 30 feet down: Underwater movie studio opens in Belgium
Director Joachim Heden filmed scenes of his survival movie in a blizzard in the Arctic, but the idea of putting actors and crew into the frozen waters was out of the question – fortunately he had another option. Breaking Surface, about two sisters’ ill-fated winter diving trip in Norway, is the first movie to be filmed at a brand-new underwater studio that has opened in Belgium – a 9-meter deep pool specially built as a movie lot. The studio includes a movable floor that means sets constructed on dry land can be lowered into the water. Poolside cranes lift in boats or other props, and staff are on hand to train actors. “We have producers and filmmakers coming to us and saying: ‘I have this scenario that’s been lying in the closet for five years and I thought it wasn’t possible to realize this project because it’s too dangerous’,” said Karen Jensen, co-founder of the LITES studio outside the Belgian capital
See it for yourself: The underwater beauty of Nusa Dua
For years, dive sites in Nusa Dua were losing the popularity battle against other sites in Bali, such as Tulamben in Karangasem regency and the world in renowned sites off Menjangan and Nusa Lembongan islands. That may change soon after an inaugural underwater photo competition revealed the majestic beauty of Nusa Dua’s underwater dive sites. Held from May 3 to 6, the first Badung International Underwater Photography Competition saw participating photographers explore several dive sites off this popular tourist area. The pictures they captured spoke of a mesmerizing underwater landscape rich in stunning creatures — a testament to Nusa Dua’s birthright to be acknowledged as one of the island’s best destination for diving and underwater photography. As many as 18 participants from five countries like Japan, Australia and the Netherlands, competed in the event, taking their best shots during
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef home to underwater art
British environmentalist and sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor is creating the Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA), which will host an array submerged and semi-submerged sculptures and installations with the goal of regenerating coral and marine life at the Great Barrier Reef. The innovative collection will be located in several locations along the coast of Queensland, such as in Townsville and on Palm and Magnetic islands. Highlights of known so far include a “coral greenhouse”, a 12-meter structure that will help reinvigorate coral and attract marine life. Another is a 5-meter-high sculpture titled Ocean Siren, which sits on the water’s surface and will change color depending on the temperature at the Great Barrier Reef and will be solar-powered. Temperature loggers located around the reef, which were set in place by