Legong Dance  is the most graceful of Balinese dances. There are various forms of theLegong Dance, but the Legong Kraton is one most often performed. A performances involves just three dancers. The two Legong and their attendant known as Condong. The Legongs are identically dressed in tightly bound gold brocade. So tightly are they encased that it’s something mystery how they manage to move with such agility and speed.Their Faces are elaborately made up, their eyebrows plucked and repainted, and their hair decorated with frangipanis.
The Dances Relates how a king takes a maiden, Rangkesari, captive. WhenRangkesari’s brother comes to release her, he begs the king to let her free rather than go to war. The kings refuses and on his way to the battle meets  a bird bringing ill omens. He ignored the birds and continues on to meet Rangkesari’s brother, who kills him. The dance, however, relates only the lead up to the battle and end with the bird’s appearance. When the king leaves the stage he is going to the battle that will end in his death.

The dance starts with an introduction by the Condong. She departs as the Legongsenter. The Legongs Dance solo, in close identical formation, and even in mirror image formation when they dance nose to nose love scene. They relate the king’s sad departure from his queen. Rangkesari‘s request that he release her and the king’s departure to battle. Finally the Condong reappears with tiny golden wing as the bird of ill fortune and the dance ends.
 
The “Legong” dance is the quintessential Balinese dance in all its glory. A classical dance that springs from age-old temple dances performed to appease the gods, the “Legong” is the epitome of grace and beauty. It is characterised by highly stylised slow movements. Its delicacy is heightened by the fact that is performed by richly costumed young dancers (sometimes only four years old), many of whom retire at the tender age of 18.

Each village in Bali has its own traditional “Legong” performance that narrate stories that are characteristic of a particular dance troupe and area. Typically, the stories are slice-of-life episodes, such as the “Tenun” or “Weavers” Dance, and scenes from nature, such as the “Belibis”, or “dance of the wild geese”. The most popular and important “Legong” dance are those performed in praise of the Gods, such as Panyembrahma, and to welcome guests. The dances have also been used as a means of teaching through the ages.

The correct code of conduct before kings and the etiquette that required people to lead a graceful and cultivated life are imparted through this medium, as portrayed in the “Wiranata”, or the warrior dance, and the “Kebyar Duduk” dance. The “Legong” is the unsurpassed queen of all Balinese dances, bringing to mind the grace of the island and its beautiful people.

In legends, Legong is the heavenly dance of divine nymphs. Girls from the age of five aspire to be selected to represent the community as Legong dancers.

The most popular of Legongs is the Legong Kraton -- 'Legong of the Palace'. Formerly, the dance was patronized by local kings and held in a residence of the royal family of the village.

 Dancers were recruited from the aptest and prettiest children. Today, the trained dancers are still very young; a girl of fourteen approaches retirement as a Legong performer.

The highly stylized Legong Kraton enacts a drama of a most purified and abstract kind. The story is performed by three dancers: a female attendant of the court and two identically dressed legongs who adopt the roles of royal persons. The suggestive themes of the magnificent gamelan orchestra and the minds of the audience conjure up imaginary changes of scene.

 The story derives from the history of East Java in the 12th and 13th centuries.  A king finds the maiden Rangkesari lost in the forest. He takes her home and locks her in a house of stone. Rangkesari's brother, the Prince of Daha, learns of her captivity and threatens war unless she is set free.

Rangkesari begs her captor to avoid war by giving her liberty, but the king prefers to fight. On his way to battle, he is met by a bird of ill omen that predicts his death. In the fight that ensues he is killed. The dance dramatizes the farewells of the King as he departs for the battlefield and his ominous encounter with the bird.

The tiny dancers glitter and dazzle. Bound from head to foot in gold brocade, it is a wonder the legongs can move with such fervent agitation. The dancers flow from one identity into the next without disrupting the harmony of the dance. They may enter as the double image of one character, their movements marked by tight synchronization. Then they may split, each enacting a separate role, and come together again. In a love scene in which they rub noses, for example, the King takes leave of Rangkesari. She repels his advances by beating him with her fan, and he departs in anger, soon to perish on the battlefield.
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Amazing `Kecak Dance of Bali

Posted by Rio Rinaldi | 10:44 AM | | 0 komentar »


Painting, woodcarving and dancing reflect the soul of the Balinese. Traditional dances are performed especially on Hindus holiday and also to welcome visitors.



The Kecak Dance tells the Indian story of Ramayana.  Rama, a warrior and rightful hier to the throne of Ayodya, is exiled with his wife Sita to a faraway desert.  There, an evil king spies Sita, falls in love with her, and sends a golden deer to lure Rama away.  Sita is captured, and Rama rounds up his armies to defeat those of the evil king and rescue her.  Rama is the man in green dancing in the center of the circle, the golden deer is in yellow in the back.

What makes the Kecak such a fascinating dance to watch are the fifty or so men in the checkered pants.  They are both the choir and the props, providing the music for the story in a series of constant vocal chants that change with the mood of the actors.  They don't sit still, either, they wave their arms to simulate fire, and reposition themselves around the stage to represent wind and fire, prison cells, and unseen hand of protection from the gods.

The dance is played in five acts and lasts roughly 45 minutes.  Weekly (in some places daily) performances of the Kecak abound around the island, but the most well-known Kecak theater is in the town of Batubulan just north of the Balinese capital of Denpasar.  The dance company provides transportation for a nominal fee to and from the resort.

Attending a Kecak recital is a must for any visitor to Bali.  It is a wondrous experience, and a window into the musical and artistic culture that make the Balinese a special people.
The Kecak is an unusual Balinese dance for a couple of reasons. First, there is no musical accompaniment. The gamelan is not there. Rhythm is provided by a chanting 'monkey' chorus. The polyrhythmic sound of the chanting provides the name, Ke-chak'.

The story line for the Kecak is taken from the Ramayana. Prince Rama goes hunting for a golden deer and his beautiful wife is kidnapped by the evil Rawana.
Story is secondary in this performance, though. If you want to see the story of the Ramayana, you should see a Ramayana performance.

The Kecak is a triumph of style and mood, rather than story. Watch the faces of audience members. More than any other Balinese dance, the Kecak turns every viewer into a child, wide-eyed and transfixed.
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Topeng Dance of Sundanese

Posted by Rio Rinaldi | 3:15 PM | | 0 komentar »


What is Topeng dance ?
Topeng Dance is one of the traditional arts in Indramayu, West Java. Topeng Dance in Indramayu society, known by the name of Topeng Dance Dermayon. Topeng dance called because during the performance took place the dancers covered her face with a mask. Topeng Dance Indramayu sometime first time played. To be sure, traditional dance has a distinctive Indramayu. There is uniqueness in the Topeng Dance performances in the area of Indramayu, West Java.

Topeng Dance in Indramayu often played when there are residents who held a circumcision ceremony, a wedding and a housewarming, and also played when the event village salvation. In each show, there is always a story line being played. Typically, a traditional dance from Indramayu was played for approximately 15 minutes.

This topeng dance performed by one or several people dancer whose face was covered with a mask. Each dancer plays a character or characters that are told in the performance figures. But if there is only one dancer, he will play all the characters by changing the color of the mask. Generally, there are three color masks in the Topeng Dance performances Dermayon like white, blue and red. One color masks depict characters in the story line. Some say, the white color symbolizes gentle berkarater figures. Blue symbols lively yet elegant character. While describing the character of the temperamental red. In addition to dancers who use the mask, there is also a female singer, her name Sinden. Through the strains of Sundanese-language songs, Sinden is describing how the storyline. Not least, there are also some musical accompaniment players such as fiddle, drums, and gongs.

Sundanese gamelan music and songs of the reflexion Sinden be an opening ceremony Indramayu Topeng Dance performances. Movements graceful dancer who became his trademark. For starters, the dancer will demonstrate bow movement. Formation shows the respect and welcome to guests or spectators who were present when the Mask Dance played. While wearing a white mask, the dancer also demonstrate the fusion movement of the hands and feet to move forward, backward. After the rotating body moves, the dancers turned toward my back to the audience while changing a mask. When the music's groove is relatively faster than before, the dancers look to replace his white mask with red color. The music will sound louder when the dancers began wearing a mask the color of red colored. When a dancer wearing a white mask, you'll see the graceful movements. But when the red color change, movement of the dancers look more dynamic and agile. Mask and movement will be changed to follow the story line that played by the dancers Mask Indramayu.

The show lasted for approximately 15 minutes, and Sundanese be introductory story line played by the dancers. For those of you who do not understand and comprehend the language of Sunda, predictable story line of motion and color masks. However, to further simplify, you may request assistance from a tour guide or local residents to translate any movement of the dancers. Through the help of a guide, you can also find out what stories submitted by Sinden during the performance took place. Like when the show will be played Topeng Dance, chant songs of the Sundanese-speaking Sinden is also a closing ceremony. The difference is, at the beginning of the opening track from Sinden illustrate a story synopsis. While at the end of the show, chant a song describing a moral message to the audience.
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*One of the most Sundanese dance is Tari Merak. The Tari Merak or Dance of the Peacock is a female dance. Merak means peacock and the choreography is inspired by the beautiful movements of a peacock. The gestures of a peacock are beautifully blend together with the classical movements of the Sundanese dance and thus making the dance a colourful expression of the proud peacock which is showing its beautiful feathers. The Tari Merak symbolises the beauty of nature. 
The Tari Merak or Dance of the Peacock is a female dance. Merak means peacock and the choreography is inspired by the beautiful movements of a peacock. The choreography of the Tari Merak is of raden Tjetje Somantri and it dates from the 1950's.
In 1965 dra. Irawati Durban Ardjo created a new choreography with altered movements, structures, music and costumes. This choreography has been revised in 1985 and taught to Romanita Santoso in 1993 by dra. Irawati Durban Ardjo herself.
The gestures of a peacock are beautifully blend together with the classical movements of the Sundanese dance and thus making the dance a colourful expression of the proud peacock which is showing its beautiful feathers.
The Tari Merak symbolises the beauty of nature and its creatures and intents to draw our attention to it and to convince us to dedicate our work to this world.
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Pencak Silat of Sundanese

Posted by Rio Rinaldi | 5:03 PM | | 0 komentar »


Pencak Silat

Pencak silat is an umbrella term for the martial arts created in Indonesia. The leading organization  of pencak silat in Indonesia is IPSI (Ikatan Pencak Silat Indonesia meaning Organization for Indonesian Pencak Silat). The liaison body for international pencak silat is the International Pencak Silat Association or PERSILAT (Persekutuan Pencak Silat Antara Bangsa).

History of Pencak Silat

It is not easy to trace back the history of pencak silat because written documentation is limited and oral information is handed down from the gurus or masters. Each region in the archipelago has its own version of its origin which is largely based on oral tradition.
Silat takes important role in country's history. Since the age of Ancient Indonesian Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms like Sriwijaya, Majapahit, Kingdom of Sunda . They used silat to train their soldiers and warriors.
Archaeological evidence reveals that by the sixth century A.D. formalized combative systems were being practiced in the area of Sumatra and the Malay peninsula. Two kingdoms, the Srivijaya in Sumatra from the 7th to the 14th century and the Majapahit in Java from the 13th to 16th centuries made good use of these fighting skills and were able to extend their rule across much of what is now Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
According to tradition of Minangkabau, their Silek (Minangkabau pencak silat) can be traced to the fore father of ancient Minangkabau people, Datuk Suri Dirajo .
It is said that according to old Javanese poetry, Kidung Sunda, the sentinels of the Prabu Maharaja Sunda exhibited great skill in the art of pencak silat when they escorted Princess Dyah Pitaloka to Majapahit as a potential bride for King Hayam Wuruk, and faced indignities that greatly affronted their honour. In a battle that ensued at the Bubat field (1346), the Sundanese forces fought to the last drop of blood, using special pencak moves and various weapons,
Albeit the pencak silat styles employed in combat were different, we can still draw the conclusion that in Javanese kingdoms throughout the archipelago, pencak silat served the same function: to defend, maintain or expand territory.
Also in ancient times, the Buginese and Makasar people from South Sulawesi region were known as tough sailors, adventurers, mercenaries and fearless warriors . Throughout the archipelago, these people were known for their combat skills. Nowadays, some well known silat schools in Malaysia can trace their lineage back to ancient buginese warriors.
The Dutch arrived in the seventeenth century and controlled the spice trade up until the early 20th century, with brief periods of the English and Portuguese attempting unsuccessfully to gain a lasting foothold in Indonesia. During this period of Dutch rule. Pentjak Silat or Pencak Silat (as it is known in Indonesia today) was practiced undergound until the country gained its independence in 1949.
The growing spirit of nationalism within pencak silat circles echoed the intensification of efforts to realise 'One Country, one Nation, one Language' in the archipelago. Following several incidents of mass uprising in the 1920s and the declaration of the Youth Pledge on October 10, 1928 in Batavia, the colonial government tightened and expanded its control over youth activities, pencak silat included. The colonial intelligence apparatus (PID) kept a close eye on all activities and organisations considered to be potentially in opposition to Dutch control. Training in pencak silat provided youths the strength, confidence and courage needed to resist the Dutch colonialists. Therefore pencak silat self-defence activities were closely scrutinised as they were suspected to be the front for political activities, and had to go underground. Training was done in private houses, in small groups of no more than five persons. At the end of the training, the pesilat had to leave one by one without attracting the neighbours' attention. At times, training would be carried out in secret locations in the middle of the night (from midnight to morning prayers) to avoid the scrutiny of the Dutch. Pencak silat teachers often made use of eerie locations such as graveyards, since even the police would be scared to go there, and they could be protected and safeguarded by the spirits of their ancestors.
Pencak silat matches too began to disappear from public eye following their prohibition by the colonial government in the 1930s. What is more, many pesilat, who were also political figures, met with bitter fates and had to live in prisons or isolated camps for several years. Pencak silat epics abound with stories of masters who 'were branded as extremists and forced to move around to avoid arrest', or who were punished for having opposed Dutch authority by using their pencak silat skills, both physical and spiritual. Although we cannot generalise and assume that all pencak silat teachers and schools opposed the colonial government, from the above it clearly appears that pencak silat played an important role in the struggle for independence.
Many pencak silat masters joined the Barisan Pelopor under the leadership of President Soekarno, to help realise the dream of an independent Indonesian nation. Among them were women freedom fighters like Ibu Enny Rukmini Sekarningrat, a Panglipur master from Garut . She fought against the Dutch alongside the Pangeran Papak Troops in Wanaraja, Garut, and the Mayor Rukmana Troops in Yogyakarta. As the capital city of the Republic of Indonesia at that time, Yogyakarta came under very heavy fire from Dutch troops. A great many pencak silat masters came from all over the archipelago to defend it from occupation. The same happened for Bandung, Surabaya, and other cities involved in the struggle.
Pencak silat was also instrumental to the revolutionary movement in Bali. After learning pencak silat as part of his Peta military training in West Java, national hero I Gusti Ngurah Rai gave lessons to his troops to boost the skills they needed to overthrow the foreign enemy. The soldiers in turn covertly trained the people of Banjar, even though the Dutch army forbade this. So today, pencak silat originating from West Java has taken root and developed on the island of Bali.
The heroism of pencak silat masters was not limited only to warfare. We must not forget their safeguarding the first President of the Indonesian Republic at a time of political uncertainty. It has been recorded in history that the night before the proclamation of independence on August 17, 1945, five special sentinels highly skilled in pencak silat guarded Soekarno.

Music of Pencak Silat 
Every region in the archipelago has its own music for Silat performances. In West Java, for example, Sundanese people use gendang penca. In West Sumatra, Minangkabau people sometimes use a special instrument called Saluang. 
Techniques of Pencak Silat

There is no overall standard for Pencak Silat. Each style has its own particular movement patterns, specially designed techniques and tactical rationale. The richness of terms reflects a wide diversity in styles and techniques across the regions due to the fact that pencak silat has been developed by different masters who have created their own style according to their preferences and to the physical environment and social-cultural context in which they live. Lets take as example West Java, Central Java and West Sumatra. West Java is inhabited by a specific ethnic group with specific cultural and social norms. For them, pencak silat is part of their way of life or as they say is "the blood in their body". In their language they say "penca" or "menpo" (from "maen poho', which literally means play with trickery) to indicate their main four styles Cimande, Cikalong, Timbangan, and Cikaret and all the schools and techniques which have derived from them. The Sundanese people have always utilized penca/mempo' for self-defense and recreation, and only recently have started to use it as a sport in national and regional competitions. In its self-defense form, using hands fighting techniques combined with a series of characteristic footsteps such as langka sigzag (zigzag step), langka tilu (triangular step), langka opat (quadrangular step) and langka lam alip, penca can be very dangerous. Therefore it is kept secret and, especially its magic (tenaga dalam or inner power) component is only taught in phases to selected students.
Penca as art (penca ibing) has been a source of inspiration for traditional Sundanese dances such as Jaepongan, Ketu'tilu', Dombret, and Cikeruhan and actually it resembles dance in its use of music instruments. These instruments, called "pencak drummers" (gendang penca), are devoted exclusively to penca performances and consist of two sets of drummers (gendang anak dan kulantir), a trumpet (tetet) and a gong. Pencak performances also use standard music rhythms such as tepak dua, tepak tilu, tepak dungdung, golempang and paleredan. Penca as art is not considered dangerous and can be openly shown to everyone. From generation to generation until today, penca performances animate wedding parties, rituals of circumcision, celebrations of the rice harvest and all kind of national festivities.
Differently from West Java, in Central Java, Javanese people have traditionally used pencak only for self-defense and are not inclined to show it in public. Furthermore, the spiritual aspect (kebatinan) is much more dominant. This is probably related to the fact that pencak silat in Central Java developed from the Yogyakarta Sultanate and later expanded to surrounding neighborhoods after the kingdoms lost their political role in the XV and XVI centuries. In the keraton (Sultan's palace) pencak silat had undergone a transformation from pure martial art to be used in combat, to an elaborate form of spiritual and humanistic education. In this later form it spread outside the keraton walls where it developed the use of self-defense techniques to reach spiritual awareness as well as the use of inner powers to attain supernatural physical strengths.
Again pencak silat in West Sumatra is a different cultural expression in both its forms and meaning. Similarly to West Java, in West Sumatra a distinction is made between self-defense, called sile' or silat, and the related art version called pencak which has influenced many traditional dances such as Sewah, Alo Ambek and Gelombang. The ethnic group of Minangkabau who lives around the Merapi Mountain in West Sumatra regard silat as their village's heirloom (pusaka anak nagari) which is meant for the youth to defend themselves while traveling ashore and it is not intended for outsiders. Instead, pencak as a dance is accessible to everybody.
In this region almost every village (nagari) has a different style (aliran) of silat as reflected by the many names, some of which refer to the founders (like Silat Tuanku Ulakan, Silat Pakik Rabun, Silat Malin Marajo) and some to the original locations where the style was developed (Silat Kumango, Silat Lintau, Silat Starlak, Silat Pauh, Silat Painan, Silat Sungai Patai and Silat Fort de Kock). These styles can be classified into two main groups according to the foot-stands (kuda-kuda) they use. In the coastal area, silat styles use a very low kuda-kuda and prefer hand techniques whereas in the mountain area the kuda-kuda is higher and foot techniques are dominant. This is due to the different environments in which silat has developed. On the sand, a high kuda-kuda would not be stable and in the mountain, where the ground is oblique and uneven, a low kuda-kuda would be impossible to practice. As a Minangkabau proverb says: "Alam takambang menjadi guru" (the surrounding nature is our teacher).

Weapons of Pencak Silat

* Keris: A dagger, often with a wavy blade made by folding different types of metal together and then washing it in acid.
    * Kujang: Sundanese blade
    * Samping/Linso: Piece of silk fabric worn around the waist or shoulder, used in locking techniques and for defense against blades.
    * Batang/Galah: Rod or staff made from wood, steel or bamboo.
    * Tongkat/Toya: Walking-stick carried by the elderly and travelers.
    * Kipas: Traditional folding fan preferably made of hardwood or iron.
    * Kerambit/Kuku Machan: A blade shaped like a tiger's claw that women could tie in their hair.
    * Sabit/Clurit: A sickle, commonly used in farming, cultivation and harvesting of crops.
    * Sundang: A Bugis sword, often wavy-bladed
    * Rencong/Tumbuk Lada: Slightly curved Minang dagger, literally meaning "pepper crusher".
    * Gedak: Mace/ club made of steel.
    * Tombak/Lembing: Spear/ javelin made of bamboo, steel or wood that sometimes has horsehair attached near the blade.
    * Parang/Golok: Machete/ broadsword, commonly used in daily tasks such as cutting through forest brush.
    * Trisula/Serampang: A trident originally used for fishing.
    * Chabang/Cabang: Short-handled trident, literally meaning "branch".
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Jaipongan Dance

Posted by Rio Rinaldi | 4:00 PM | | 0 komentar »


Jaipongan Dance  greatly enjoy doing dance performances by foreign tourists, as well as domestic travelers. I'll tell about dance for the beauty of this dance Jaipongan if displayed.
Jaipongan dance is a dance that the association of ideas by artists from Bandung (West Java) named Gugum Gumbira. this dance is actually an outgrowth of the dance Ketuk Tilu that in working on the Gugum Gumbira too.  First Jaipongan dance are "Daun Pulus Keser Bojong" and "Rendeng Bojong" both of which type of dance girls and dance in pairs. It combines gentle dance movements, fast, in broken, aerobics until slightly erotic. Pencak Silat movements are also elements. Accompaniment of gamelan music itself is much simpler than a full gamelan at Marionette Puppet or Degung, and singing a Sinden.
Jaipongan debuted in 1974 when Pak Gugum and his gamelan and dancers first performed in public. Sporadic government attempts to suppress it due to its perceived immorality (it inherited some of the sensuality of ketuk tilu) just made it more popular. It survived even after the official Indonesian ban on foreign pop music was lifted after a few years, and became a craze in the 1980s. Since the mid-1980s Jaipongan’s importance as a social dance has waned, but it remained popular as a stage dance, performed by women, mixed couples or as a solo.
The most widely available album of Jaipongan outside of Indonesia is Tonggeret by singer Idjah Hadidjah and Gugum Gumbira's Jugala orchestra, released in 1987, and re-released as West Java: Sundanese Jaipong and other Popular Music by Nonesuch/Elektra Records.
Because there are erotic elements in it, not a few communities that prohibit this show. but because it is very popular and more movement refers to the art of body work, then as today, jaipongan dance is one identity of the West Javanese art.
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