Minggu, 31 Oktober 2010

Banyumasan Traditional Music



Get Closer To Lengger Dance


Most people know Lengger dance as dancing wearing mask. But do you know that the dancer is a man wearing woman dress? Man in this dance has certain philosophy and purpose. Lengger Mask dance is a traditional dance which also well known since a century ago in central java. Long ago, this dance was introduced by an artist from Kecis, subdistrict Selomerto , Mr. Gondhowinangun in 1910.

Then, in 1960’s this dance was improved by Ki Hadi Soewarno, become more attractive than the old dance from Solo or Yogya. The dance was lean to be like East Java dance from Kediri. According to a Giyanti artist, Lengger come from java language "elinga ngger" means "ingatlah nak" (remember kid). There is message in this dance, every person must remember to the almighty creator and always do a kindness to every one.

Once upon a time, this dance was start when King Brawijaya lost his daughter, Dewi Sekartaji. He threw open to a prize contest, “For anyone who can found my daughter, I’ll make him become husband of my daughter or make her a sister”.

This contest was followed by many warriors, until only two left. They are Raden Panji Asmoro Bangun who undercover as Joko Kembang Kuning from Kingdom Jenggala and Prabu Klono from Kingdom Sebrang. Prabu Klono was the man who make the daughter escape because her father made a match with him.

During the searching, Joko Kembang Kuning and his guardian act as nomadic dancer move from one village to other village. The dancer was a man wearing a mask, dressing girl dress with simple musical chairs. In every performance this dance gets welcome mat and ovation. That why, they called it Lengger, from ledek (dancer) and ger or geger (noisy and sensation).

Until one day, in a village, Lengger dance attract Dewi Sekartaji from her shelter. But at the same time, Prabu Klono also knew her existence. Prabu Klono commands his sister, Retno Tenggaron and warrior women to propose Sekartaji. The propose was rejected by the princess.

While Prabu Klono and Joko Kembang Kuning still demand their right to the king. The king was confused and decided them to fight in a contest. Joko Kembang was represented by Tawang Alun warrior kill Prabu Klono. At the end of this story Joko Kembang Kuning and Dewi Sekartaji were marriage and the party was splendid with Tari Topeng Lengger (Lengger dance).

According to Dwi Pranyoto, Lengger artists from Setyo Langen Budoyo studio, Lengger had improved when muslim kingdom start to established. Previously Lengger dance was Ledek geger then changed become Syiar Islam by Sunan Kalijaga.

In its progress, Lengger dance found time to had negative assumption. It because the dance was performed to attract voluptuous feeling. The spectator can watch it while drunk. Watch this condition Sunan Kalijaga passing of as Ronggeng wearing a mask and dancing.

In this way, Sunan Kalijaga teach courteousness and magnanimity. Now, this dance was well known as "elinga ngger", a dance which teach to always remember to God.

Lengger Dance still exists until now. This dance can be performed by two persons, the man wear a mask and the women wear traditional dress like Java princess in the past. This dance performed about 10 minute musical chairs from gambang, saron, kendang, gong, and other traditional instruments.

In fact, some artists try to improve and create new dance adopted from Topeng Lengger. One of it was Kenyo Lengger, from Ngesti Laras studio. According to the creator, Mulyani, Kenyo Lengger was performed by 5 women wearing sunglasses. Message from this dance is as a human, don’t chase after wealth including throne, women and property, that’s why they wear sunglasses.

Jumat, 15 Februari 2008

Golek Sulung Dayung



This classical Javanese dance comes from the court of Yogyakarta. It depicts a young woman's desire to always look her best. The dancers seen here belongs to the Yayasan Siswa Among Beksa which was created by the brother of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX in 1952. The dance foundation's goal is to preserve and develop the classical court dance of Yogyakarta and the Mataram style

Rabu, 16 Januari 2008

Ledhek/Tayub

Ledhek/Tayub is a group of Javanese musicians and singer-dancers which was very popular due to their sensual gestures. Apart from the sensual gestures of the dancers, Tayup was/is also famous since they involve/invite the spectators to dance along with them. This kind of participative performance is rare in the Javanese context.


Rabu, 09 Januari 2008

Traditional dance from Riau , Indonesia

Pembubung Dance


Tabal Gempita Dance



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Rentak Besapih Dance - Jambi, Sumatra




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Music of North Sumatra

75 thousand years ago, a volcano erupted deep in the interior of North Sumatra, spreading ash as far as Sri Lanka and leaving behind a crater now known as Lake Toba. One hundred kilometers long, it is the largest volcanic crater lake in the world. The fertile volcanic soils of its shores have supported intensive agriculture for millenia. Its great natural beauty has made it Indonesia's third-largest tourist attraction. This is the original homeland of the Batak, a family of seven Indonesian ethnic groups with a population of perhaps two million.

These seven groups (Toba, Karo, Simalungun, Pak-pak, Dairi, Angkola and Mandailing) have related but distinct languages, customs, and traditional arts. Such is the variety of Batak music and dance that no one program could present even a sampling of it all. Festival of Indonesia has chosen to concentrate on three highly contrasting traditions: those of the Toba, the Karo and the Mandailing.

The Batak groups are divided by religion (the Mandailing are Islamic; the Toba, Christian) and by language (Toba and Karo in particular are mutually unintelligible), but unified by a common passion for genealogy. It is not unusual to meet Batak men who can recite fluently the names of eight generations of their ancestors. These ancestral trees represent a sort of blueprint for Batak society; they explain the origins of and relations between the clans (marga) which dominate Batak social life.

Every Batak belongs to one of these patrilineal clans. They are exogamous: a man may not marry a woman from his own clan, but must search among other clans for a wife. The marriage ties which link clans form an intricate web of kinship which touches every aspect of Batak society. The clans also order Batak culture, ceremony, mythology and the arts.

There are musical compositions specific to one or another clan; clan membership determines the order of events at the life-cyle ceremonies at which music and dance are essential.

Music and dance play a crucial role in Batak society. The word for "ceremony" ("gondang" in Toba; "gendang" in Karo) is actually a musical term and refers both to the Batak orchestra of drums, gongs, and oboes and also to the tunes they play. The musicians are essential to a ceremony because they are the intermediaries between humanity and the Creator. The sounds of the drums and gongs convey human prayers to the spirit world.

Musicians thus command great respect in traditional Batak society and they must follow a certain code of behavior. "The musicians must be honest men," explained one old Toba Batak man, "otherwise they risk angering the spirits."


Gondang Uning-uningan


Batak Toba Dance


Karonese Traditional Dance


Dembas Simenguda Dance Tapanuli




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Selasa, 08 Januari 2008

Indonesian Classical Music from Sunda

Kecapi Suling






The province of Sunda in West Java experienced an amazing resurgence of interest in its own musical traditions in the late 1970s and into the 1980s. Centered on the city of Bandung, this renewed vitality led to the nation-wide (and world-wide) popularity of traditional genres like Kacapi Suling and modern ones like jaipongan.

Kacapi Suling is usually played at interludes between songs in a performance of the classical song-form Tembang Sunda. The term refers to the two plucked string instruments and the flute. There is a higher-pitched kacapi rincik, a lower-pitched kacapi indung and the suling ornamenting the melody. During a dinner-to-dawn house concert of Tembang Sunda, instrumental pieces like these would offer light interludes between the weightiness of the songs. The pieces are in two scales. The first four are in laras pelog, conveying a lighter mood, while the next four are in laras sorog, a more somber mood. This change of key usually occurs around midnight, and lasts until dawn.

Minggu, 06 Januari 2008

Central Borneo Dance

Arts are part of Dayak life. There are many various arts such as dancing, carving, weaving, sculpturing. Their sculptured carvings and statues physically represent their gods, and their carvings are influenced by their culture and beliefs.

Dances are performed during a ritual ceremony to welcome their heroes or their important guests. There are a number of dances from central Kalimantan, such as:

  1. Tari Mandau (Mandau Dance). This dance is performed when welcoming important guests for a ceremony, but it is also performed for friendship or when welcoming heroes after a war victory. This dance is performed by old and young people, men or women.

  1. Tari Mandau Kinyah (Mandau Kinyah Dance). This dance is performed particularly for heroes who are returning from war.
  2. Tari Giring-giring (Gring-giring dance). This dance is danced by men and women as couples. Each dancer holds one or two bamboo sticks. One of the bamboo sticks is filled with small stones, and when it is shaked it produces a sound which is accompanied by traditional music by the Kangkanong (Gamelan) and drum. The Giring-giring dance is performed to celebrate special occasions and to welcome guests.
  3. Tari Manggetem (Harvesting dance). This dance is performed at harvest in order to express thanks to the God/gods for the overwhelming bounty.
  4. Tari Gelang Bawo (Gelang Bawo Dance). Gelang Bawo dance comes from Dayak Maanyan whose name was Tewang Rawayab. Tewang Rawayab lived in the highland of the Dayak Bawo area. The story of this dance is: One day the chief of the Bawo named Dataktoo had a son whose name was Lala. Lala's hobby was hunting. The dance shows Lala's prayerful demonstration of hunting capabilities and skills.
  5. Tari Gelang Dadas (Gelang Dadas Dance). This Dance is usually performed by women. The story of this dance is: Once, there was a girl whose name was Lue Payung Gunting. One day she meditated and met a cobra and jaguar. These two animals gave her instructions for gaining supernatural power. When she was able to dance, her body moved like the snake's body and she could fly like an eagle in the sky.
In addition to the dances that have been mentioned above, there are still a number of beautiful Dayak Dances such as: Bukas, Balau Nganjan, Kanjan Palu, Kerangkang and Dandang Tingan dances.

Murung Raya Dance






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Sabtu, 29 Desember 2007

Kutai Dance (East Borneo)

Kenyah Music




The Kutai dance art is divided into 2 types: Folk Dance Art and Classical Dance Art.

Folk Dance Art
It is an artistic creation which emerges from the public community. This folk dance movement combines the elements of dances in the tribe dance dwelling in coastal area. The Folk Dance Art includes:


Jepen Dance
Jepen is Kutai folk art which is mostly influenced by Malayan and Islamic culture. This art is very popular around people dwelling in riverbank area of Mahakam or in coastal area.

This gathering dance is usually performed in pairs; however, it can be played in single. Jepen dance is accompanied by song or special music of Kutai called Tingkilan. The musical instruments consist of gambus (a kind of six-strings guitar) and ketipung (a kind of small drum).
Because of the popularity of this art, almost every sub district has its own Jepen group and also Tingkilan with its own unique style. Therefore, this dance develops rapidly which is proved by the emergence of new creations such as Jepen Tungku dance, Jepen Gelombang Dance, Jepen 29 Dance, Jepen Sidabil dance and Jepen Tali Dance.

Classical Dance
It is a kind of dance which grew and developed around Kraton Kutai Kartanegara in the past. The Folk Dance Art includes:

Sacrificing Dance In the past, this dance is performed by royal women of Kutai Kartanegara, however, nowadays it can be performed by any women. The dance which is accompanied by gamelan music is specially dedicated to welcome guests in an official ceremony. The dancers is not limited, the more dancers is better.

Ganjur Dance
Ganjur Dance is royal man dance which is performed in pair using the equipment called Ganjur (a club made of cloth).

The dance is accompanied by gamelan music and is performed at royal coronation, marriage, guest welcoming, birthday and circumcision of the royal family.

This dance is mostly influenced by elements of Javanese dance (Yogya and Solo).

Kanjar Dance
This dance is rather similar with Ganjur Dance, only it is performed by man and women with rather agile movement. The dance composition is rather free and does not follow certain patter that it could be compared to gathering dance. In its performance, Kanjar Dance usually initiated by Sacrificing Dance because this dance is also performed to honor the guests and is also used as gathering dance.

Kutai Mask Dance
Historically, this dance has relationship with Singosari and Kediri Dance, however, the movement and gamelan music accompanying the dance is rather different. While, the story in the dance and also the costume is not too different.


Kutai Mask Dance is divided into some types such as:
01. Penembe
02. Kemindhu
03. Patih
04. Temenggung
05. Kelana
06. Wirun
07. Gunung Sari
08. Panji
09. Rangga
10. Togoq
11. Bota
12. Tembam

Kutai Mask Dance is only performed at royal environment, for entertaining the royal family. The dance is usually performed at king coronation, marriage, birthday and royal guest welcoming.

Dewa Memanah Dance
The dance is performed by head of Ponggawa using a bow and five-headed arrow. The Ponggawa circling the ceremonial site while winding the bow up and down, and uttering the mantra in a hope that gods will dispel evil spirit and bless the peace, fertility, and prosperity for the people.



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Dance of Dayak (Borneo)



Gantar Dance This dance depicts a movement of farmer planting rice. The stick illustrates the beater while the bamboo and grains inside it illustrates rice seed and the container.
This dance is quite famous and is frequently performed in welcoming guests or at other occasions. This dance is not only known by Dayak Tanjung Tribe but also Dayak Benuaq Tribe. There are three versions of this dance: Gantar Raytn, Gantar Busai and Gantar Sekan/Gantar Kusak.

Kancet Papatai Dance / War Dance This dance tells about a Dayak Hero, Kenyah who fights against his enemy. The movement in this dance is very energetic, agile, and full of spirit and sometimes followed by dancers' shouting.
In this dance, the dancers wear traditional clothing of Dayak Kenyah tribe, along with war equipments such as mandau (Dayak sword), shield and armor. The dance is accompanied by Sak Paku song and it only uses Sampe instrument.





Kancet Ledo Dance / Gong Dance When Kancet Papatay depicts masculinity and strength of Dayak Kenyah men, the Kancet Ledo otherwise depicts the beauty of a woman as a rice plant
blown by the wind.
The dance is performed by a women wearing traditional clothing of Dayak Kenyah Tribe and her b
oth hands holding the feather of Enggang bird. Usually this dance is performed on top of a gong; therefore, it is also called Gong Dance.


Kancet Lasan Dance It depicts the life of Enggang bird, a noble bird as the symbol of glory and heroism. This dance is a single performance dance of Dayak Kenyah woman of which the movement and position is similar to Kancet Ledo Dance, but the dancer does not use gong and Enggang feathers and she mostly use lowering and squatting position with the knees touching the ground. This dance emphasizes the movements of Enggang bird while flying and perching on a tree branch.

Leleng Dance The Dance tells about a girl named Utan Along which would be forcefully married by her parent to a boy of whom she does not like. Utan Along finally ran away to the jungle. This dance of Dayak Kenyah
Tribe is performed with Leleng songs.

Hudoq Dance The dance is performed by wearing a wooden mask resembling a beast and also two pieces of banana leaves or coconut leaves which wrap the dancer?s body. This dance has close relation with ritual ceremony from the tribes of Dayak Bahau and Modang. The purpose of Hudoq dance is to obtain strength in overcoming the disturbance of the pests and in a hope of land fertility to produce abundant harvest.

Hudoq Kita? Dance This dance of Dayak Kenyah is basically the same with Hudoq Dance of Dayak Bahau and Modang, as three of them are held for ceremony at the planting session or to express the gratitude to the gods that give good and abundant harvest. The prominent difference between Hudoq Kita' Dance and Hudoq Dance is on the costume, mask, the movement and the music companion. The costume wore by Hudoq Kita? Dances consists of long sleeve shirt and s
arong, while the mask resembles human face decorated with special carving of Dayak Kenyah. There are two kinds of masks in Hudoq Kita? Dance, one is made of timber and the other is only a veil made of beads with Dayak Kenyah ornaments.

Serumpai Dance This Dayak Benuaq dance is performed to expel diseases epidemic and to cure people bitten by mad dog. It is called Serumpai because the dance is accompanied by Serumpai musical instrument (a kind of bamboo flute).

Belian Bawo Dance Belian Bawo ceremony is aimed to expel diseases, cure illness, pay nazar (vow) and so forth. After became a dance, it is frequently performed on guest welcoming and other art exhibition. It is a dance of Dayak Benuaq Tribe.

Kuyang Dance It is a Belian dance from Daya Benuaq tribe which is performed to dispel ghost dwelling in big and high tree so that they do not disturb human or person who chop the tree.

Pecuk Kina Dance This dance depicts the migration of Dayak Kenyah Tribe from Apo Kayan area (Kab. Bulungan) to the Long Segar area (Kab. Kutai Barat) which took years.

Datun Dance This dance is a communal dance of the Dayak Kenyah girl which has no definite number of dancers; it may consist 10 up to 20 girls. Based on history, this communal dance was created by a chief of Dayak Kenyah tribe in Apo Kayan named Nyik Selung as the expression of gratitude over the grandchildren birth. Then, this dance spread to entire Dayak Kenyah tribes.

Ngerangkau Dance
Ngerangkau Dance is the custom dance related to death in Dayak Tunjung and Benuaq Tribe. This dance uses rice beater equipment which is beaten regularly in a parallel position to produce certain rhythms.

Baraga' Bagantar Dance
In the beginning, Baraga? Bagantar is the ceremony to treat a baby by using the aid of Nayun Gantar. Nowadays, the ceremony is already recomposed into a dance by Dayak Benuaq tribe.

Direction by Google Map

Rabu, 26 Desember 2007

Kejawen, a Javanese traditional spiritual teaching

The ancient people of Java since 3000 years BC had known the wet-rice cultivation. This system of agriculture requires a smooth cooperation between villagers, is still being practiced to this day. The villagers must have a very high consciousness to organize such a complicated arrangement to be a smooth cooperation, benefited all parties involved. Besides the wet-rice cultivation, they have known also among other fishery, astronomy, cloth weaving, batik, gamelan & wayang. Before the arrival of Hinduism and any other world religions, the Javanese had already a culture & belief(s) of their own.
In some Javanese traditional ceremonies, ancient rituals remain in place to this day. It is a proof that Javanese people are smart in preserving their precious identity. Besides the existence of widely recognized religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam & Christianity, a local belief popularly known as Kejawen or Kebatinan does continue to exist.
Kejawen from the word Jawa (Java) : Javanism, is a Javanese spiritual knowledge in search of good & correct way of life, so the persons practicing the teaching correctly & wholeheartedly should find the spiritual way to true life (urip sejati => urip = life, sejati = true) achieving the harmonious relation between servant & God, JUMBUHING KAWULO GUSTI (jumbuh = a good, harmonious relation, kawulo = servant, gusti = Lord, God).This is Kasunyatan - The Reality, Kebatinan from the word Batin = inner, spiritual. Kebatinan = spiritualism, generally understood as the spiritual teaching of belief in one God.Some are of the opinion that Kejawen has a broader meaning than Kebatinan, except kebatinan it consists, also of way of thinking, art, tradition, culture etc.The existence of Kejawen, in no way can be separated from the Javanese way of life & thinking, the nature & the tradition.
A Javanese concept prevails to this day is Mamayu Hayuning Bawono - to preserve the beauty of the world in a broader sense means to preserve the universe for the welfare of its inhabitants.By nature, a Javanese is an environmentalist, a preserver of nature as clearly shown in their natural oriented tradition & rituals.Living in harmony is of prime important - the harmonious relation among people in the society: between human beings and the universe & harmonious relation between servant & God.
Since their tender ages, the Javanese have been educated by their parents, families, society, teachers etc, the lessons of belief in God, moral behavior & etiquettes etc.The elder Javanese always say that all religions are good. So far there is no conflict in Java due to religious differences.Up to present date, the four royal palaces in Yogyakarta & Surakarta (Kasultanan under King/Sultan Hamengku Buwono X, Pakualaman under Viceroy/Adipati Pakualam IX, Kasunanan under King/Sunan Paku Buwono XII, Mangkunagaran under Viceroy/Adipati Mangkunagara IX) are the centers of Javanese court culture, where royal ceremonies from the old days are still performed.The people culture such as "The Village Cleansing" ceremonies dated back from ancient period take place almost intactly.

Dolalak Dance




Traditional dance: Dolalak is the product of culture which appeared and grow in Purworejo regency Central Java. In the beginning of its appearance, Dolalak in the colonialism of Dutch in Indonesia, about 1915. This art is the result of acculturation between Dutch culture and Indonesian or west and east.
It can be seen from the costumes and accessories, are similar with the Dutch army. The costume which are worn by the Dolalak dancers like dress with long sleeves with insignias shoulders, shorts, hat and sock and completed with sunglasses and sampur.
Dolalak dance is very attractive with a lot of movements which are unique and specific like kirig, ngetol, lilingan e.t.c. and also movement like “waltz dance” and make line like Dutch troops. Beside that, we also insert magic by inviting indang a spirit who come to one of dancer soul. The coming of the spirit to the dancer soul is called trance or mendem.
The naming of Dolalak derives from musical notation do la la. In the beginning this dance was performed by men, but in the development, now the dance is performed by female, ussualy performed in one whole night. And the accompanying music is kendang, terbang, jidhur (Javanese gamelan orchestra) and the vocal.



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Jumat, 14 Desember 2007

Another Aceh Traditional Dance

SEUDATI
The Seudati Dance is a very popular dance from North Sumatra, or Aceh. It was formerly a court-dance which took the form of a patriots dance, describing the prowess of the Aceh patriots who are about to proceed to the battle-field Now the dance is the property of all the people, and used as an impetus for their patriotism.
There are two Seudati dances, one danced by men only, called Seudati Agam, and the other, danced by women only, called Sudati

Each Seudati Dance is danced by ten men or ten women. When it is danced by men (Seudati Agam) the ten dancers are divided according to their function in the dance; one Aneuk Seudati, or the child of Seudati, one Adoee or younger brother, and eight Dalam or Aduen or elder brothers. One of the eight Dalam is called Sheik or leader, and there is an Apet Sheik or deputy leader. The six others are called Rakan or Kawan, meaning friends.

The performance of the Seudati dance is sometimes very long; there is even one which begins at 8 p.m. and ends at 6 a.m. The stage is an open field. The dance can be very exciting when there is a competition between two neighbouring villages, each with its own Seudati team.

The patriotic nature of the Seudati Dance is seen chiefly from, the costume of the Seudati Agam, consisting of a long white right shirt, long white or black trousers, a sarong (a cloth wrapped round the under part of the body worn above the knees), selendang (scarf) fastened round the waist, rencong (short sword) and a head cloth. The dance is very gay and vigorous, varied by frequent rhythmical clapping on the breast. As they dance the dancers sing in turn stories showing the greatness of Aceh in the past.

THE RANDAI DANCE

The Randai Dance is from. West Sumatra and is danced by several men wearing a costume called the galembong. The galembong consists of a wide black jacket called teluk belanga, long trousers, and a head cloth. The accompanying musical instruments consist of a talempong (like the Javanese bonang with the difference that it consists of only five parts); rebana (tambourine); ralung (a kind of flute); and kendang (drum).

As they dance, the dancers sing about the greatness of Minangkabau in the past. A Randai dance performance often lasts six hours.

THE INDANG DANCE

Indang is the name of the rebana or little tambourine used as a musical instrument in this dance. The dancers are men, all of whom wear galembong costumes. The indang,s used as musical instruments to accompany this dance are of the same number as the dancers, because each dancer carries an indang with him. The number of the dancers is not fixed, sometimes seven, sometimes nine, but usually an uneven number. They - dance in a sitting -position and do not change places. While they dance they tell stories whose purpose is to convert people to Islam.

THE SELENDANG DANCE

The Selendang Dance is a war-dance from West Sumatra. The dancers consist of several men, all wearing galembong costumes.

Selasa, 11 Desember 2007

Lengger Dance From Banyumas, Central Java




While the dancers above are performing something most Javanese themselves are clueless about; the Banyumas region's Like the Solonese, it is an interactive communal dance, during which amateurs (males only) could dance with the professional dancers for a little money. Banyumas is in Central Java, but its dialect, lexicon, dances and music are very different from the Solonese and Yogyanese. They're livelier, faster in rhythm, and are, by the snob mainstream Javanese, considered as 'vulgar'. The difference in visual terms as far as it is what shows in the pic above are apparent; the headgear is nothing like the Solonese and Yogyanese dancer's; the way the scarf is worn around the neck is not the mainstream way, either; and at the Banyumas dancers' waists you could see dark sunglasses -- those, too, are never to be parts of a Solonese or Yogyanese dancing prop.

Dancers with fans, from Purwokerto, Central Java. The dance is called 'trètèk', a sort of a communal 'welcome dance'. Ask any Javanese if he or she has ever heard of this dance. They'd say no. And the dress, too, is unfamiliar to most of us; it looks closer to some Sumateranese dance costumes.

Mobile dancers of Cilacap, a coastal town of Central Java. They've been everywhere in this island scraping a living (that's eome cash on the tray held by the female dancer at the left), without getting noticed by other Javanese; but one real look at the dresses, the music, the songs and how they speak, a Yogyanese or Solonese would recognize that this isn't something he or she is familiar with.



Minggu, 09 Desember 2007

Aceh Culture


Acheh has a lot of potential cultures which are basically colored by Islamic religion. There are three major ethnic groups in Acheh; Achehnese, Gayo and Alas. The Achehnese are most numerous and inhabit the coastal areas of the region. However, in west and south Acheh, they intermingled with west Sumatra, which reflected in language, design and customs. The Gayo and Alas tribes are numerically minor groups who inhabited the highland of Acheh. The Gayo live in central Acheh while the Alas in southeast Acheh. Acheh is often called "Serambi Mekkah" (The Verandah of Mecca). No wonder that the dominant religion in Acheh is Islam (Moslem). Of Acheh's about 4 million inhabitants, are MoslemProtestants (1.32 %), Roman Catholic (0.16%), Hindu (0.02 %) and Buddhist (0.37 %). Even though the Achehnese are very strong believers and often called fanatics by other Indonesian. They are very open minded and understanding towards other people's religious needs. Churches and temples are always found in towns of Acheh. In 1990 there were a total of 2359 Mosques, 6408 Meunasah (Moslem house of worship), 2955 Mushallas (simple place of worship), 91 church/school and 6 Bhuddish Temples. Islam literally means peace, surrender, obedience and submission. Islam (Moslem) stands for complete submisson and obedience to the only God, Allah. Islam (Moslem) claims the right to govern and control every aspect of lives of its believers. It recoqnizes man's material, intellectual and emotional urges and the need to fulfill them. Yet, in achieving these goals, Allah can not be forgotten. With that mind, Moslem perform five obligations, The so called Five Pillar of Faith, i.e. confession of faith (Syahadat), prayers five times a day (Shalat), fasting in month of Ramadhan (Puasa), almsgiving (Zakat) and pilgrimage to Mecca if capable (Haji). At the age of seven, children start to learn the prayers and tenets of Islam and to recite from the Koran (Al Qur'an). Boys and girls start to have religious duties and obligations at the onset of puberty. Knowledge and understanding of Islam make an individual into moral being capable to distinguish right from wrong. The religious leaders who teach the children ( Teungku/Tgk) make children into rational beings. Communion with Allah can only be achieved through prayers five times a day. The title "Teungku (Tgk)" is given to prominent religious leader. Title "Tuanku" or "Sayed" and " Teuku (T)" is used descendants of important land owning families during the sultanate, and title "Cut Nyak" or "Po Cut" and "Cut",are used for female of these fammilies. The following descriptions about culture including architecture,crafts, adat ceremonies, etc. tend to apply to the coastal Achehnese group.Traditional HouseAchehnese villages usually lie in the middle of cultivated areas where the houses are hidden among the trees for shade and coolness. An older traditional house is built without using any nails. The house held together with cord or pegswhich are made too small for its hole and is kept in place by large wedges. An Achehnese house stand on pillars which is well designed for the climate. It is composed of five divisions (rueung). 16, 20 or 24 sturdy pillars, usually 6-8 feet in height, rise perpendicularly up from the floor, providing space for air circulation and for people to move about comfortably.

Traditional Dress

Standard traditional Achehnese clothing for men includes full cut black trousers, a black top with long-narrow sleeves with one botton at the neck. A silk cloth (kain songket) is bounded around the waist, and a rencong is tucked into the belt. On the head is a kupiah meukeutob topped with a gold star shaped ornament (tampok kupiah). It is bound with a woven square of silk.

bajuac2.jpg (56667 Byte)The women wear gold embroidered, black trousers which are narrow at the ankle and very broad at the waist. The blouse is also embroidered, and is yellow, green or red in colour. The sarong is a women silk fabricdecorated with gold or silver thread (kain songket). This is held in place a large gold belt. On the head is adorned with an array of golden flowers with called Bungong Ok and Patam Dho or Kulah Kama. Necklaces cascade from the neck to the waist. The arms are adorned with many bracelets, and the fingers are graced with rings, too.

Achehnese Blade

rencong.jpg (51041 Byte)Rincong is a special Achehnese dagger which had been so important during the Achehnese war. Now the dagger is popular as a completion of the traditional attire, and nice souvenir from Acheh, too. Rincong blades are mode of metal, while the hilts and scabbard are from ivory, wood (kayu kemuning), or buffalo hom. Anatomishable steel is used for blades that will be fitted with buffalo hom hilts and scabbards. While a brass alloy is used for those with scented wood orivory hilts and scabbards. Hom, wood, and ivory are not the only materials used for roncong hilts and scabbards, silver and gold may also be used. The shape of rincong is from the invocation of 'Bismillahirrahmanirrahim' (in the name of Allah, the merciful and compassionate). The component parts of rincing is likened to individual letters of the Arabic script of phrase 'Bismillah' as follows :

- The hilt of the rincong is in the shape of 'ba'
- The decorationat the base of the hilt is 'sin'
- The shape of the blade is 'mim'
- The shape of the metal parts at the top of the blade is 'lam'
- The base of scabbard takes the shape of 'ha'
- Together ba, sin, mim, lam, and ha make up the word 'Bismillah'

Siwah

Siwah is another important Achehnese blade which is generally known as the ceremonial dagger and usually used by the Sultan and men of the subtantial wealth. It differs from the rincong in appearance in that it has a more bulbous hilt. The siwah scabbard is usually more highly ornamented than a rincong scabbard. The decoration on these fine-old weapons befits their royal heritage. Precious jewels, ivory and intricate gold filigree work adorn at the upper end of the scabbard where the blade enters the sheath. Some siwahs have straighter blades than rincong, however, both blades are sharpened on one side only, and end in a sharp point.

Peudeung

The Peudeung is a kind of a long sword and was very populer during the Achehnese wars. In Acheh, every peudeung has aname based on the shape of its hilt, for example 'hilt like the tail of a cat', (gagang ekor kucing) 'hilt like the mouth of crocodile' (gagang mulut buaya) 'hilt like the horn of a deer', (gagang tanduk rusa) 'hilt like the legs of a horse', (gagang kaki kuda) and 'hilt like the tail of a duck' (gagang ekor bebek). The hilt of a peudeung is usually decorated with a 'tampok', a smaller version of the star shaped ornament worn on top of the traditional, royal Achehnese hat. The history of peudeung may trace back to 17 century. There is an Achehnese sketch dated in the century, an Achehnese man, show him sporting a strap over his shoulder through which two long peudeung protrude.

- Dance and Songs

As a verandah of Mecca, songs and dances which come from Acheh generally reflect Islamic prayer art. In old times dances were either performed at the courts for sultans and their guest or in the villages as entertainment after hard work in the fields. Today dances are mostly performed at special government functions, but in many areas local dancing traditions and groups carry on the heritage. Each region of Acheh has own version of dances or its own indigenous ones. The costumes used are basically long sleeved tops and sarongs wrapped around the waist and colors are often brilliant. Women usually wear head pieces, but the use of jewelry depends on the aspect of life that is depicted by the dance. The Achehnese dance all have certain characteristics in common. Islamic values are often spread in Acheh through the dances. The dances deal with daily social activities. All Achehnese dances are performed by a group and are dynamic with stepping feet, beating of chests, hips and shoulder

Achehnese music performed on tradition string, wind and percussion instruments. Most of them seem to have Chinese origin, but at least the "arbab" is indigenous. The "arbab" is a three string zither made of wood from the jack fruit tree. The strings are made of very strong bambo, rattan, or from horse tail horse. One example of wind instrument is the "seurunee kalee ", which is a single reed wood-wind with one hole in the back and seven in the front. Other include various kinds of bamboo fluetes, such as "buloh peurindu", "bansi" and "suling". Gong are made of brass or dried goat skin and are sounded with padded wooden hammers. They come in three sizes and called "gong" , "canang", and "mong-mong". The "Rapaii Pasai" is tambourine made of goat skin. The "Rapai Pasai", for example, was introduced by the Samudra Pasai Kingdom as an instrument to call citizen to gather. The "Tak Tok" is made of bamboo and is very simmilar to Javanese "angklung". The players of traditional instruments are usually men, while women sing and play tambourines. A traditional band consists of leader, four or five players and one or two boy sopranos.

In Acheh there are 50 types of dance, 20 kinds of music, 10 form of literature and 9 tradition arts, some of which are described below. Some of the popular dances are:

Ranub Lampuan
"Ranub" is Achehnese for betel leaf. It is traditionally used for chewing after meals and is served as a way of showing respect to guest. "Serving betel leaf to the guest" as a dance has become a popular way of welcoming prominent guest to Acheh and also at opening ceremonies . Nine women perform to the music from the "seurunee kalee" instrument. At the end of dance , the performers offer "sirih" (betel) to the guests who are supposed to receive it. However no one forced to chew it !

Peumulia Jamee
A similar dance to the "Ranub Lampuan" is the "Peumulia Jamee". The difference is that the betel is omitted, and the music make one imagine exotic Arabian night and a song is sung, starting with the Arabic greeting "Assalamualaikum ..."

Seudati

The "Seudati" dance existed in pre-Islamic times, but became a way to spread Islamic value to the Achehnese people. The name can de derived from the "syahadatain" which means confession of faith by saying " Kalimah Syahadat". "Seudati" is performed by 8 male dancers commanded by a leader ("syeikh") and his assistant ("apet syeikh") . Two narattors read a poem. It is danced in standing position and starts with "saleum" (salam). Only stepping feet, snapping fingers and beating of chests accompany the movements. The Seudati Inong is the same dance, but performed by women

Saman

acehtari.jpg (12371 Byte)"Saman" the most popular dance in Acheh and the dance that has become well-known abroad with the name "Thousand hands". It has its origin from the Alas ethnic group and is normally performed to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. and other important occasions. Eight to twenty male performers kneel in a row on the floor and make different kinds of torso movements accompanied by songs, clapping hands, slapping chests, slapping hands on the floor, etc. The songs are praises to Allah or prayers. The dance starts with slow movements and increases its tempo gradually to great speed and finally come to a sudden stop. There are many different regional versions of "Saman"

' Saman Inong '

Meuseukat
"Meusekat" is almost the same as "Saman". The only difference is that "Meusekat" is performed by women and originates in west and south Acheh.

Pho
The word "pho" derives from "pheubae po". "Peubae" means weeping and "po " is an honorable indicator. The dance was developed from the old dance "bineuh" and originated in the 16th century in south Acheh. It was beginning performed at the death of Sultan or noble man as an expression of loss and sadness. Over the years it started to appear in the "manoe pucok" ceremony ("bathe" and "new bud" respectively) in the days before a wedding when the bride is bathed. During this ceremony the bride is seated in full traditional attire and accompanied by her parents. After a "peusejuk" ( a cooling ceremony) the dancers appear. They led by a "syeh" who produces songs that decribes the life of the bride from birth until marriage. It is about how much the parents have done, how much they have spent on her and how they have taken care of her. Now the moment of departure has come and the bride will leave her parents for a new life with her husband as wife and mother. the newlyweds are also blessed and wished a prosperous future. The songs are often so sad not only the bride and parents, but also the participans, sob togeter.

Laweut
"Laweut" was developed in early days of Islam in the Pidie area of northern Acheh and means a kind of prayer to the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. " Lawaeut" is also called "Seudati Inong" for its similarity to the "Seudati" dance and that it is performed by women, eigh of them with a "syech" ( leader). Normally it is performed in a standing position, accompanied by song and sound of snapping fingers, stepping feet, beating thighs and clapping hands from dancers

Tarek Pukat
The "Tarek pukat" dance depicts the life of the fishermen in the coastal area. This includes making nets, rowing boats, catching fish and pulling the net which actually is meaning of "Tarek Pukat". The dance is cheerful, dynamic and accompanied by songs or instruments. Each dancer has a rope and during the dance these ropes are woven into net.

Marhaban
This dance was normally only used for celebration of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. , but due to its popularity has begun to appear also on other occasions. There are 20 performer, 10 women and 10 men, accompanied by special tambourines. The dance is often followed by prayers to the Prophet.

Rapai Geleng
"Rapai" is the name of a tambourine used to accompany songs and dances. "Rapa-ii Geleng" is a dance specially developed with this tambourine in mind. The movements are almost the same as in the "Saman" dance, but the 11 to 20 male dancers handle one tambourine each, which gives the dance a very distinct and enjoyable flavor. A song with Islamic teachings accompanies the dance.

rapaiigeleng.jpg (34750 Byte)tari.jpg (74866 Byte) rapaiigeleng1.jpg (134875 Byte)

' Rapa-ii Geleng '

Perang Sabil
"Perang Sabil" is a new creation, composed in order to commemorate the war against foreign invaders. This very dynamic dance, accompanied by music, is performed by 8 women and 8 men. The women carrying rencongs (Achehnese blade) and the men swords ("Peudeung"). The dancers describes how the rencong and Peudeung is used in a real war and the dance itself can be hurtful enough if a dancer loses his concentration.

Bines
"Bines" comes the Alas people and is developed from the folk tale "odeni maleleng". This tale tells us about the fate of young woman committing adultery and punished by her own village people with death. The mother of girl walks crying around the body of the girl, layng on leather pad. The dance describes the grief of the mother and a sad song in local language accompanies the movements.

Didong
"Didong" is most popular Gayo dance, and dance groups of 20 to 40 men and women compete in different aspects of dance, such as song, movement and voice. It can be performed at any kind of occasion.

Ul-Ula Lembing
A dance strongly influenced by Malay traditions and very popular in east Acheh. It is performed by four couple in traditional Malay attire.

Alee Tunjang
Originally a dance for the start of the harvest that despicts traditional rice milling. Performed by four couple moving beautifully to the music from "serunee kalee" . They carry "lesung" (rice mortar) and "alu" (pestle), 2 to 3 meters long.

Daboih
The famous "Daboih" is hardly a dance, but merely a show of the performers ability to withstand diffeerent kinds of sharp blades. The actors stab themselves to the special sound of tambourine "rapa-ii". The show can be rather dramatic at times. Even electric chain saws can be used ! Keep away if you have a bad hearts.

Lansir Madam
Lansir Madam is an odd remnant from colonial era and can be described as a "Dutch Square dance"

Direction



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West Sumatra (Minangkabau)



Piring Dance is very popular among the West Sumatran people. It involves great skill and exotic and dynamic movements while the dancers hold plates or saucers in their palms! It is also known as the Candle Dance .Randai Traditional Drama and Theatre of Kota Nan Ampat is a Minangkabau Traditional art centre and the drama there has an educational message.The Rantak dance is created by Gusmiati Said and is dominated by Pencak Silat, the traditional martial art of West Sumatra, with movements such as taping, hand movements, waving and jumping. The composition takes great consideration of space, time and energy (power) thus resulting in an entity presented as an art of expression.Tiupan Saluang is a traditional art expressing the feeling followed by the blowing flute, while the Tabuik Festival of Pariaman regency is a traditional cultural ceremony held on 1st - 12th Muharram. Tabuik comes from Bengkulu to respect Huse in (The grandson of Prophet Muhammad) who died in the war against King Yazid.Tari Payung or the umbrella dance is anothervery well known dance among the young people from the land of Minangkabau. Danced to the tune of "Babendi-bendi" (a song about a horse drawn carriage which is original to that area), this dance portrays the happy bantering between newly married couples on their honeymoon. The umbrella becomes a symbol that the husband should always protect his wife from the rain and heat of life.

Indang Dance



Pasembahan Dance

Tari Piring Kubu Durian

Saluang Ratok sianok (flute form sianok valley)

Sabtu, 08 Desember 2007

Traditional Indonesian Music

Gamelan orchestra Gamelan music is the most popular and important kind in Indonesia. Gamelan orchestras accompany all dances and dramas. Gamel means 'to hammer', and most of the instruments of a gamelan orchestra are struck with wooden mallets, padded sticks or hammers.The conductor of a gamelan orchestra is a drummer who is part of the orchestra.
Instruments of a gamelan orchestra A complete orchestra could have about 40 or more different instruments. There would be instruments that are struck to produce sound, such as kettledrums, xylophones, and gongs of various sizes. There would be a wind instrument, a bamboo flute called a suling, and string instruments such as a zither or lute. There would be instruments whose sounds are produced by vibration, such as drums, bells, cymbals and gongs.
There are also two sets of instruments that are tonal: the slendro tuned to five tones and the pelog, tuned to seven tones. The slendro is used to suggest festivity or cheerfulness, and is believed to have developed in Java in the eighth century. The pelog is used to express sadness, and is also very ancient in its origins. These two cannot be played together, but are used according to the mood of the piece being played.
Gamelan music Gamelan music is complicated. It is an ancient form of music and has been handed down for many generations, never written down, but learned by being played. Gamelan is an essential part of Indonesian life. It is slightly different from island to island.
Angklung music Another popular form of orchestral music is the angklung, which is played on instruments made entirely of bamboo of different lengths. Each instrument is made up of two bamboo tubes, each of a different note. The instruments are shaken to produce sound.

Malang Mask Dance


Malang mask dance is an inherited traditional theatncal art performance. What is interesting about the mask dance is that all the dancers representing some characters wear masks. The characters in Malang theatrical mask dance are 64 and they play the roles of 64 figures in Panji tales. Decoratively, Malang masks are unique. They are different from any other mask art found in Java. There are five typical colurs used to deco rate the masks. The red colour symbolizes courage, the black colour symbolizes determined ambitions, the yellow colour symbolizes wisdom, the white colour indicates purified character and the green colour indicates peace.
The main colour decorating the mask worn by a dancer tells about the character of the story figure played by the dancer. Malang theatrical mask dance is often performed in fragments the story of which are taken from Panji tales which are common traditional folklores that are also found in many parts of Indonesia such as Lombok, Bali, Sumatera and Java islands, and also in Thailand.
The main figure of the tales is Pandji Asmorobangun, and the typical, phylosophical themes of the tales are that the bad are always de feated by the truth, eventhough there are a lot of sacrifices and miseries during the struggling process. In the story it is narrated that Panji Asmorobangun had to wander to get his spouse. In his life, it is told that there was a king who wanted to marry Dewi Ragil Kuning, the lover of Raden Gunung Sari from Jenggolo Manik.To know the real truth, one should undergo a process i.e. a war. The final result of the war will prove that the truth can always overcome, and can defeat the bad things.
To see the theatrical mask dance you have to go to Malang, which is about 90 kilometers to the south of the capital of the East Java Province, i.e. Surabaya. The center of Malang mask dance is Kedung Monggo village, Karang Pandan, Pakisaji district, Malang regency. It is about 15 kilometers to the south of Malang town.
It is easy to get there by village vehicles from the inter-city bus terminal in Gadang, Malang. Every Thursday, Asmorobangun dance is performed in padepokan. If you want to see the theatrical mask dance on the other days, you may ask the head of the art workshop to have a fragment of Panji Asmorobangun tales performed. The performance lasts only 30 minutes. You can also contact Mr. Karimun, the dalang or the director of the mask dance to have the dance performed. Mr. Karimun has devoted himself for 40 years in maintaining and developing the mask dance.


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GANDRUNG DANCE


Gandrung dance is a specific dance from Banyuwangi, and a classical dance as the remnant of the old Blambangan Kingdom. During the dance performance, audience are invited to dance together and lucky audience are those who get the scarf given by Gandrung dancers. Gandrung dance is picturing thanksgiving to Dewi Sri, the goddess of rice for rich harvest.

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