This post is a continuation from the post on Lunar New Year (Part 2) Lion Dance. The Lunar New Year Dragon Dance and the Lion Dance are part of the same celebration. I chose to make separate posts because I wanted to have individual focus on each part of this celebration.
The photos in this post are from two separate dragon dances (a red dragon and a pink dragon).
Dancing dragons can vary in size and length, starting from a few meters up to around 100 meters long. During the dance the performers hold poles and raise and lower the dragon. The lead dancer lifts, dips, thrusts and sweeps the dragon’s head and the body of the dragon move in a wave-like pattern achieved by the coordinated swinging of each section in succession.
Just like the Lion Dance, the Dragon Dance is performed with loud, intense and mesmerizing beating of big drums, cymbals and gongs and the dragon dances to the timing of the drum. The music is not only used to beat a rhythm for the dancing dragon but the loud noise of the instruments is intended to scare away evil spirits.
Dragons bring luck to people. Especially if a person is touched by a dragon. The longer the dragon is, the more luck it will bring. The next three photos shows a dragon touching 2 women and the smile that it brings to them.
The first dance (red Dragon) was performed with basic movements of swinging but the second dance (pink dragon) executed more complex formations and maneuvers. In this dance the moves were more acrobatic with performers standing on each other’s legs or using another performer’s body for support.
Other moves that were performed were spiral formations where the dragon head crossed over its body section. Sometimes going over the body and other times crossing under the body. Of course, this is happening while the performers are moving in a running speed.
I hope that you have enjoyed this 3 part series on the Lunar New Year Celebration in Vietnam. If you missed one of the first two posts then you can read them by clicking on the links below.