Gandrung and Barong Using, Typical Arts of People in Banyuwangi

On August 28th to 30th 2015, the Gandrung and Barong Using, typical arts of people in Banyuwangi, East Java province nicely performed in Frankfurt, Germany. The performance of Gandrung and Barong Using in Germany as guest of honor at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2015 has attracted the audiences. While in Germany, the Gandrung arts, and Barong Using also performed for three consecutive days at the Suferfest Museum, the largest cultural festival in Europe, in Frankfurt along with the appearance of several famous Indonesian musicians, such as Djaduk Ferianto, Kua Etnika, Dwiki Dharmawan and J-Flow. Currently, in today’s edition of Indonesia Wonder, we invite you to know one of the arts that performed at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2015, the Gandrung Art.

Gandrung art is a traditional dance of community in Bayuwangi, East Java. The Gandrung dance comes from the word of Gandrung, which means admiration. According to its origin, the dance tells about spellbound of Blambangan community in Bali, to Dewi Padi or the rice goddess, namely Dewi Sri who bring prosperity to the people. The dance actually is a reflection of the people’s thanksgiving over post-harvest. This dance is brought by female dancers as the main dancer then they invited male audiences (called Paju) to dance together. When dancing, the dancers always wear the unique crown called Omprok. The dancers crown usually made of buffalo leather and given a gold and red ornaments. The clothes worn by dancer made of black velvet which is decorated by golden ornaments and beads. Meanwhile, the bottom of cloth, the Gandrung dancers wearing batik which generally they use common batik pattern of Gajah Oling or plant style with elephant’s trunk that characterizes typical Banyuwangi.

The performance of Gandrung Art divided into three parts, namely row, move forward and Seblang Subuh. Part of Jejer is the opening of entire Gandrung show. In this section, the dancers sing some songs and perform solo dancing. Once the row is complete, then the dancers began to give shawl-scarves to the guests especially honorary guests who get the chance to dance together. This is part of a dance called Maju. After completing the Maju movement and take a rest for a moment, then begin the Seblang Subuh section. It is a concluding part of the whole series of performances of Gandrung Banyuwangi. The dancers began to dance with slow movements while singing the sad song theme. Mystical atmosphere felt at part of the dance. Gandrung dance now appear in various events, such as weddings and the state official occasions. When performed, the dance is always accompanied by traditional Gamelan music. Since 2000, the dance has become the official mascot of Banyuwangi tourism. Gandrung dancer sculptures displayed at various angles of towns and villages. The government of Banyuwangi also promote Gandrung Dance to be staged in various regions even abroad such as Surabaya, Jakarta, Hong Kong, and America.

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