The Dragon Dance
In the West, the dragon has traditionally been seen as a symbol of evil to be slain by heroes in mythological stories. The opposite, however, is true in China, where the dragon represents prowess, nobility, and fortune.
The dragon dance became popular during the Sung dynasty and after more than a millennium its seductive power remains undiminished. The dragon costumes used during the performance come in a variety of colors, including gold, teal, red, or a mixture of all. The dance may be performed during day or night, with the latter illuminated by a flaming ball leading the dragon in its flight through the night sky.
The dragons consist of nine to twelve sections, each one up to three
meters in length. The ROC's Armed Forces Dragon Team performs with an
enormous dragon 120 meters long and weighing over one hundred kilograms.
When lifted skyward by the more than one hundred soldiers in the troupe,
the dragon's golden body sparkles brilliantly. Performed at every major
national occasion, the dragon dance truly evokes the dignified and high-spirited
bearing of the Dragon King himself!