Sabtu, 12 Maret 2016

[repost] The Very First Festival Gandrung Sewu: Thousand Gandrung Dance Festival

In 2016, Banyuwangi will held 5th Festival Gandrung Sewu. I repost this article to remind the festivity of gandrung sewu. And also, I hope I can attend the festival this year. 

Hello dear friends. 

Last Saturday, I attended Festival Gandrung Sewu and that was my first time attending festival in Banyuwangi. Poor me. I’ve been living in such a small beautiful and attractive town for a year and a half, and I missed all of festivals. Banyuwangi is a small town at the east end of Java Island. The tagline of this town is The Sunrise of Java.

Yeaaa, Banyuwangi is really the sunrise of Java. Everything runs fast here. 5 AM here is just like 7 AM of Jakarta. And this town has hundreds festival that held along the year, and the peak of the festival held to celebrate HARJABA,

Hari Jadi Banyuwangi, the anniversary of Banyuwangi, 18 December. This year, Banyuwangi Festival is held along November to December. Kuwung Festival, Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival, Kebo-keboan, Festival Gandrtng Sewu, Festival Anak Yatim, Banyuwangi Jazz Festival, Banyuwangi Etno Carnival and so on.

And, Festival Gandrung Sewu was held at Dermaga Pantai Boom Banyuwangi at 17 November 2012. Gandrung Sewu means thousand gandrung. And there were really THOUSAND gandrung dancers dancing at Dermaga Pantai Boom. A thousand and four hundred and forty four dancers came from senior gandrung dancers, professional gandrung dancers, and students from elementary, junior high school and high schnol. 

SEnior Vs. Junior 

Gandrung is a native traditional dance of Banyuwangi. The history of Gandrung dance itself was told in the festival as a colossal story. And Jaranan Buto, or that called as JarBut opened the festival. There was about ten to fifteen dancer that costumed as Buto (Giant, Ogre) and bringing horse puppet (we call it Jaranan). 

Jaran Buto: JARBUT 

As the traditional music goes, the magical sense spread on the dance area. Two of dancers change the costume to barongan. As the music going crazier and the incense smoke going darker, the rest of Jarbut were horsewhipping the Barongans. Don’t ever think how it feels. I don’t want to imagine it. 

JArbut Horsewhipping Barong 

And in the rest time of Jarbut performance, there were about four Kucing – kucingan got on to the area. Kucing – kucingan is a mini barongsai. Huge cat puppet performed by two dancers. Okay let see the picture. I can’t explain it well. :D

Kucing - kucingan: Mini Barongsai 

And, the climax of Festival Gandrung Sewu was performed as a colossal story. It opened by performance of male dancer bringing colorful flags figuring Blambangan (the former name of Banyuwangi) as a rich kingdom. 

At 18th centuries, Kompeni (Javanese name for Dutchman that colonize Indonesia) arrived at Blambangan trough Blimbingsari Beach. As the Kompeni came, the indigenous people started to suffer.

Colossal Performance 

The kingdom then took strategy how to beat out Kompeni. Gandrung is an alternative. At the earlier time, gandrung was performed by male dancer as welcominf dance. To beat out the Kompeni, gandrung then performed by female dancer to entertain Kompeni, as Kompeni get infatuated to the dancers (performed by senior gandrung dancers, and Gandrung itself in Indonesian means Infatuation); the plan to colonize Blambangan got messed up. As the Kompeni beaten out, thousand gandrung dancers spread the area and it was instantly got red. Amazing.

Thousand Gandrung Dance 

The colossal was so attractive. Gandrung lanang was performed by Subari Sofyan, the owner of Sanggar Sayu Gringsing. 

Subari Sofyan Performed Gandrung Lanang Followed by Seblang Dancer 

At the festival, there was also Seblang Dancer from Olehsari. An unconscious girl danced at the top roof of stage.

Seblang Performance at The Top Roof of Stage 

Unfortunately, I didn’t finish vatching the colossal performance. I had to get to Gesibu – Blambangan, attending Banyuwangi Jazz Festival. I promise, next year, I whll attend Gandrung Sewu 2013. And you have too..!!

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