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Jakarta Post

‘Barongsai’ community celebrates Lunar New Year

Wed, February 21, 2018   /   12:27 pm
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    Showtime: The barongsai troupe entertains primary school students in Solo. JP/ Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    Teamwork: A barongsai dancer smiles as he lifts his partner. JP/ Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    Secured: A barongsai dancer tightens his belt beside the iconic lion head. JP/ Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    Finding the groove: The rhytm and movement of lion dance must be precise. JP/ Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    Practice: Two pairs of barongsai dancers practice their routines. JP/ Maksum Nur Fauzan

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    Gathering: Barongsai group members gather around during their practice session. JP/ Maksum Nur Fauzan

Maksum Nur Fauzan

Barongsai Tripusaka, a community of barongsai (Chinese lion dance) dancers in Surakarta, Central Java, truly represents Indonesia’s motto of living in harmony: Unity in Diversity.

The community has nearly 100 members from a wide variety of age groups, ethnicities and religious backgrounds.

Despite the diverse backgrounds, the dancers elegantly maintain cohesion when they perform, showing their high spirit forged through their intensive thrice-weekly training in the Tripusaka school yard in Jebres, Surakarta.

Traditional barongsai requires strength, discipline, concentration and collaboration. This has prompted group members to exercise regularly for optimal performance in entertainment and tournament activities, particularly for the National Sports Festival.

Dani, a Barongsai Tripusaka dancer, aspires to win a gold medal.

The current Lunar New Year celebrations serve as an arena to demonstrate their feats in barongsai shows, enlivening the events at schools, shopping centers and also cultural parades.

“This new year our community is invited to appear in 26 programs in Solo,” one of the trainers, Ari, said.

Barongsai has become a magnet for city residents in various Lunar New Year ceremonies. This lion dance tradition, along with other arts of diverse origin, is expected to be preserved for future generations as a means of maintaining national unity.