Riau has so many unique traditional cultures that keep preserved by Riaunese from time to time. They have so many traditional cultures such as traditional clothes, music, songs, dances, and many more. Just like other traditional dances from North Sumatra, Riau also has a Melayunese tribe that influences their dances.
More than 80% of the Riau population is dominated by Muslims and Melayu tribes. That makes Riau has unique traditional cultures that dominated with Arabian and Melayunesse vibe that you would not find them in other regions in Indonesia.
Speaking of Riau’s traditional dances, let us gives some glances about them that are most sacred by Riau’s religion just like some traditional dances from the East Kalimantan. you can find them in most of the important events in Riau such as wedding ceremony, welcoming guest, custom ceremony, or even government events.
1. Zapin Dance
Zapin dance is one of the traditional dances from Riau that commonly plays with the combination of Riau traditional clothes. They call as Kurung Cekak Musang clothes, Songket, and Kopiah or Muslim’s hat, and brooch.
Zapin dance is used to plays by men only, but as time goes by, women can plays this dance too. The dance originally comes from Melayunese tribes that combine with Arabian cultures. People believe at about 14 centuries, Islam invaded Riau so that the cultures influence Riau so much.
You can find Zapin dance in most of the important events in Riau such as festivals, celebrations, or government events. This dance becomes one of the Indonesian heritage cultures that admits by the national Indonesian culture.
2. Melemang Dance
Melemang dance is one of the most popular traditional dances from Riau. This kind of dance used only plays in the Riau kingdom in the Bentan region, and plays by people around the kingdom only. But, as time goes by, this dance can play by everyone both men and women outside the kingdom.
Commonly, Melemang dance plays by about 14 dancers. Each of them takes a specific role to plays during the dance. They are consist of one king and queen, four music instruments players, one singer, and six dancers. The dance follows by Riau traditional music such as tambourine, Gong, and violin.
With the drama role plays in the malemang dance, you can enjoy this dance in about one hour’s play. Usually, you can find this dance in some important events such as government events, celebration birthday in some regions, and many more.
3. Tandak Sedati Dance
Tandak Sedati dance is one of the traditional dances from Riau that so popular in the youth generation. Riaunesse believes that by this dance, the youth generation in Riau can find their true love and marry them.
Tandak Sedati usually plays by men and women in a couple of ways with beautiful traditional Riau’s clothes. They wear a combination of red and green with some specific earing and necklace originally come from Riau.
4. Jogek Lambak Dance
Jogek Lambak dance is one of Riau’s traditional dances that so rich in Melayunesse vibe. Every movement of this dance plays slowly but sure, and show the beauty of every dancer there.
Jogek Lambak dance follows by some of Riau’s traditional songs such as Tanjung Katung, Serampang Laut, and Anak Kala. These songs also followed by the combination of Riau’s traditional music instruments such as the Gong and Tetawak.
5. Persembahan Dance
Persembahan dance is one of the traditional dances from Riau that commonly plays for welcoming guests. The dancer will bring the betel leaf and give them to every guest that comes to the events, just like the Persembahan dance in the traditional dances from Aceh.
Commonly, Persembahan dance plays by five up to nine people and dominated by women dancers. They will wear Riau’s custom traditional clothes that call as Baju Kurung Telu Belaga. The clothes complete with the Songket and the crowns that you can find in Riau only.
6. Rentak Bulian Dance
Rentak Bulian dance is one of the traditional dances from Riau that specifically plays in the Bulean ceremony. As the custom traditional ceremony, this dance plays sacredly and lead by the greatest shaman in Riau.
The Bulean ceremony in Rentak Bulian dance purposed for the healing process for someone, violating customs, killing the land, choosing new leaders, and many more. That is why the dancer should be chosen by the shaman.
Before the Rentak Bulian dance plays, the shaman will give every dancer some specific spell with the incense. The music instruments that follow the dance must be in Mayang Pinang Muda’s condition, and the fireplace should not cast in mantras.
7. Inai Dance
Inai dance is one of the traditional dances from Riau that found more than about centuries ago. People believe that this dance is the most sacred dance that should play in every wedding ceremony.
Inai dance commonly plays by men with martial arts dance movements. They have to play the dance at night after Isya prayer ends. People believe that this dance as a good sign for the wedding couple as one of the important custom of the culture.
8. Manggar Dance
Manggar dance is one of the most popular dances from Riau that originally comes from Pekanbaru as the capital city of Riau. The dance tells us the story about the original story about Bandar Senapelan as the pioneer of Pekanbaru’s name. This dance becomes one of the most famous folk dance in Indonesia.
9. Makyong Dance
Makyong dance is one of the traditional dances from Riau that commonly plays with the dramatic role-play during the dance. The dancer will wear a specific mask with the two women as the main role.
As long as the show of Makyong dance, groups of dancers and musicians will combine various elements. They can pick some religious ceremonies theme with the simple plays, dance, music, and scripts.
So, there are some glances about some traditional dances from Riau that rich with Riau’s religious vibe. And which one of your favorite?