Dragon Dance rehearsal intensifies ahead of Imlek

Bogor. A group of dancers specializing in the traditional dragon dance have stepped up their training sessions ahead of the Chinese New Year or many people here call Imlek.

The group, which calls itself Barongsai Naga Merah Putih, is based in Bogor, a suburb of Jakarta. The practice took place inside an abandoned leather factory on the bank of the Ciliwung River.

They are gearing up for the most anticipated annual cultural tradition for ethnic Chinese Indonesians and residents of Bogor. This is all the more the case since the Covid-19 pandemic put it on hold for almost two years.

There are 50 staff members joining the club from different cultural and religious backgrounds. During the practice, each person should show tolerance towards others. For example, they must stop the practice during the Muslim call to prayer.

January and February are the busiest months for artists. They have to practice every day because there will be a lot of work, usually up to 20 performances in offices or malls in Bogor region only.

Dancers warm up during the Dragon Dance practice season in Bogor, West Java, Jan. 15, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Dancers prepare to practice at the Naga Merah Putih headquarters in Bogor, West Java on January 15, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Members of the Naga Merah Putih dragon dance group prepare to practice in Bogor, West Java, January 15, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

A man plays a small cymbal during practice at the Naga Merah Putih headquarters in Bogor, West Java, Jan. 15, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A man plays a small cymbal during a dragon dance practice session in Bogor, West Java, Jan. 15, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Dancers perform a Liong (dragon dance) during a practice at the Naga Merah Putih headquarters in Bogor, West Java, January 15, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Dancers manipulate a dragon puppet using poles in Bogor, West Java, Jan. 15, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Dancers perform a Liong (dragon) dance during a practice at the Naga Merah Putih headquarters in Bogor, West Java, January 15, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A team of skilled dancers demonstrate the corkscrew motion of a dragon puppet using poles in Bogor, West Java, Jan. 15, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Dancers perform a Liong (dragon dance) during a practice at the Naga Merah Putih headquarters in Bogor, West Java, January 15, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Dancers move a long, flexible dragon puppet during a practice session in Bogor, West Java, Jan. 15, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Dancers perform a Liong (dragon dance) during a practice at the Naga Merah Putih headquarters in Bogor, West Java, January 15, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Dancers use poles to move a giant long dragon puppet in Bogor, West Java, Jan. 15, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

A Liong silhouette is seen during training at the Naga Merah Putih headquarters in Bogor, West Java, January 15, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A silhouette of a dragon puppet’s head is seen during a practice session in Bogor, West Java, January 15, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Dancers pose with the Liong during a practice at the Naga Merah Putih headquarters in Bogor, West Java, January 15, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Dancers pose for a photo with the dragon puppet in Bogor, West Java, Jan. 15, 2022. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

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