Bobcatz wants proof that the Indian community is capable of ‘kung fu’ in the lion dance

Bobcatz wants proof that the Indian community is capable of ‘kung fu’ in the lion dance

The Bobcatz group performed at the Saravedi Night program broadcast on Astro Vaanavil last night

EVERY time the Chinese New Year comes, the ‘lion’ dancing and leaping action is one of the most anticipated.

Accompanied by the beating of drums and the beating of gongs, this traditional Chinese dance will lift the spirits of anyone who watches it.

Along with the passage of time, the lion dance or wu shi in Mandarin is now beginning to attract the interest of various nations to learn more about it.

Although the lion dance is synonymous with the Chinese community, but for the Bobcatz Group, they also want the Indian community to immerse themselves in the heritage.

Bobcatz was established in 2001, and currently has 18 members ranging in age from 14 to 51 years old.

Founded in 2001, this group currently consists of 18 members aged between 14 and 51 years.

Led by Vengadesa Perumal Jairaman, 51, and Kumaresan Mukiah, 45, Bobcatz trains Indian teenagers around Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya with the southern lion dance.

Vengadesa, who has 30 years of experience in the field of dance, said that lion dance is unique because it combines kung fu movements.

The kung fu element will further highlight the expression and strength applied in the lion dance.

“I used to study at Malaysia Airlines Club, had to learn the basics of kung fu and after that we learned the tools, and from there we started kung fu movements and learned how to dance.

“The challenge is that we cannot mix Indian dance with lion dance. This lion dance is very different, this is how we learn kung fu. Instead of kung fu we will show (movements or dances),” he said.

It is understood that the lion dance began more than 1,000 years ago, and the most popular are the northern lion dance and the southern lion dance.

The northern lion dance originated from the northern part of China which used this dance as a royal entertainment and had more acrobatic movements.

Meanwhile, the southern lion dance is a symbol that has characteristics related to the environment and uses various colors.

Speaking further, Vengadesa said the two main instruments used by the group were the ‘cha-cha’ and the gong.

In addition to appreciating culture, Vengadesa adds that the lion dance teaches the dancers to be disciplined and foster a spirit of cooperation.

Vengadesa Perumal Jairaman (from front, center) and Kumaresan Mukiah (far right), train Indian teenagers around Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya with the southern lion dance – Photo/Astro AWANI

Since more than two decades of activity, Bobcatz Group has received various performance invitations from home and abroad including in Singapore, Maldives and Bahrain.

“Right now we are doing training, in a year or two we will participate in competitions like Genting (World Lion Dance Championship) and many competitions abroad but we have to have financial resources,” he said again.

Meanwhile, Pujjaashree Komagan, 18, and Sangjai Vengadesa Perumal, 16, are among the individuals who played an important role in the dance.

These two young people are able to play the musical instrument ‘cha cha’ and gong, and are in the front and back positions of the lion costume.

“This dance is fun and a lot of challenges, because the lion dance is not a traditional Indian dance. So if you are willing to learn it is challenging.

“My parents are really supportive and every day send (training) and buy costumes,” said Pujjaashree.

The same was shared by Sangjai, who described the lion dance as also attracting the interest of his friends to learn the culture.

“Actually, it’s a lot of fun, but there are challenges, but when you learn everything, wow, this (dance) is fun too.

“There are some friends who enjoy watching this dance and some are interested in joining,” said Sangjai.

According to Chinese custom, the lion is considered a protector and it can protect the villagers from the attacks of evil spirits.

The lion dance is inherited in many countries such as China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Each country has different patterns and forms of dance.

Share This


Wordpress (0)
Disqus (0 )