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20 Traditional Dances in East Java You Should Know

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East Java is a province located in the Eastern part of Java Island. It is an area of 47,922 km ² covering 38 cities and regencies. In the field of art and dance, East Java has a variety of dance art that has been well known by the people of Indonesia or even the world. Lots of dance areas of East Java that exists today that consists of classical folk dance, creations, or modern dance. The dance in East Java is fortunately still much preserved by the inhabitants. Here are the lists of traditional dance in East Java you need to know.


1. Reog Gendang

Reog Gendang is an original traditional dance that created by Tulung Agung society. The history of Reog Gendang is related to the history of Kilisuci Goddess. Narrated in ancient times, a Bugis wanted to marry the daughter of Airlangga named Dewi Kilisuci. When the man from Bugis wanted to marry her, Dewi Kilisuci also asked the Bugis man to make a Sanipan as a condition in wooing him.

The Bugis man then asked Tulung Agung community to make a Sanipan or a candy for Kilisuci Goddess. Then created Reog Gendang dance as Sanipan Bugis man to woo Kilisuci Goddess. Learn more about Reog Gendang Dance you can see in the article titled “Dance Reog Gendang Tulungagung”,

2. Beskalan Dance

Beskalan Dance is a traditional dance originating from Malang, East Java Province. This dance is usually performed at the reception of the big guests who are coming there. In addition to being a welcome dance, this dance is also often performed during Ludruk’s performance as an opening dance after Remo Dance. Beskalan dance is a famous traditional dance in Malang. In the show, this Beskalan Dance will usually be played by 4 (four) female dancers. But on certain events can also be played by 2 (two) people, there are even more than 4 (four) people.

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3. Caping Ngancak Dance

Caping Ngancak dance is one of the traditional dances from Lamongan district, East Java province. This dance depicts the activities of the farmers in the fields. In this dance dancers dance like a farmer who uses a hat or hat made of woven bamboo as an attribute in the dance. Caping Ngancak dance is a famous traditional dance from Lamongan district.

In the show, this dance is performed by dancers in groups. This dance will usually be performed by 9 (nine) women dancers with the formation and also movement that is compact, lively and full of meaning. The movement in this dance depicts the activities of the farmers in the fields starting from planting rice to harvest. This dance is more dominated by hand gestures and also a game of caping as an attribute in their dancing. The movement is done in a compact and neat so it will look interesting.

4. Gandrung Marsan Dance

Gandrung Marsan Dance is a traditional dance originated from Banyuwangi, East Java Province. Historically, this dance is derived from art that developed in the year 1890. At that time, there is an art presented by a group of men aged 7-14 years. This art is accompanied by drum musical instruments and also tambourine. They perform from one village to another.

One of the dancers who continue to act in art until the age reaches 40 years of Marsan. The figure of Marsan was so admired. As a dancer, she is known to be very good at playing a role as a woman. Not only that. The admiration of the people of Marsan is also due to the moral message conveyed in every dance performed. At that time, there was often competition between dancers. Until not infrequently, there was a fight in the show.

5. Bedoyo Wulandaru dance

Bedoyo Wulandaru dance is a traditional dance originated from Banyuwangi, East Java. This dance is a manifestation of the happiness of the community at the time of welcoming the arrival of big guests who come there. According to some historical sources, in the past Bedoyo Wulandaru dance was used by the Blambangan community in welcoming the entourage of King Hayam Wuruk and Mahapatih Gajahmada who visited their area. Bedoyo Wulandaru dance is an expression of joy from the Blambangan community in welcoming the great guest tesebut and then named Bedoyo Wulandaru Dance.

6. Glipang Dance

Glipang Dance is a traditional dance from Probolinggo, East Java Province. This dance depicts the daily life of society. Glipang dance is a blend of Islamic culture and Javanese culture that is packed into a dance. According to historical sources, Glipang Dance was first created by a young immigrant from Madura who lives in the village of Pendil, in Probolinggo district called Seno Truno. Seno Truno was originally a foreman of a sugarcane logger at the Dutch Colonial Sugar Factory in Probolinggo. Due to the Dutch colonial attitude that arbitrarily made Seno Truno then decided to quit his job. Then he created a dance as a form of resistance to the Dutch colonizers.

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7. Jaranan Dance

Jaranan dance is a traditional dance performed by the dancers by riding a mock horse made of woven bamboo. In addition to the rich value of art and culture, this dance is also very thick to the impression of magical nuances and spiritual values. Jaranan Dance is a very famous traditional art in East Java Province. In some areas of East Java province this jaranan art is still alive and preserved. One of them is in Kediri Regency which makes this dance as a traditional dance typical there.

In the show, the dance is performed by a group of dancers in soldier clothes and also riding a braid horse. While riding the horse the dancers dance with a dynamic movement and in harmony with the music pengiringnya. In addition to dancing they will also play horse braids with varied movements. In this Jaranan Dance performance is also accompanied by various gamelan music such as kenong, kendang, gong, and others.

8. Kethek Ogleng Dance

Kethek Ogleng Dance is one of the traditional dances originating from East Java. This dance is a dance whose movements imitate the behavior of kethek (ape). In the performance, Kethek Ogleng Dance is performed by 4 (four) dancers, 3 (three) female dancers and a male dancer who acts as an ape man. This dance begins with the entry of the three female dancers into the stage. Then 2 (two) of the 3 (third) female dancers were portrayed as ladies and one female dancer acted as the daughter of Dewi Sekartaji, the daughter of Jenggala, Sidoarjo. While the male dancers act as Raden Panji Asmorobangun who came from the kingdom of Dhaha Kediri.

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9. Lenggang Dance

Lenggang Dance is a typical welcome dance from Surabaya, East Java Province. This dance is played by a dancer who dances with a beautiful and elegant movement. Lenggang Dance Surabaya is an adaptation of the previous art development of Tanda Tanda’an or Ledek Tayub and also Sandur Madura. Historically, this dance was created by Dimas Pramuka Admaji in 1995. At that time he was asked to create a welcoming dance to enliven the anniversary of Surabaya. The request was then welcomed by Dimas Pramuka Admaji which included various elements of culture and also art in the city of Surabaya in the dance creation.

10. Reog Ponorogo

Art Reog ponorogo is one of the arts of dance from East Java, which until now still continues in the preserve. Reog ponorogo is the original culture and art from Indonesia. Culture and art is often associated with mystical things, therefore often often associated with spiritual power and even the black magic.

Reog Ponorogo is often performed during occasions such as khitanan, weddings, national holidays, and annual festivals organized by the local government. Festivals that are often held by the government are like the National Reog, Reog Mini Nasinonal, and also the show at the time of full moon which is located in the square ponorogo district. However, the National Reog Festival is always held at the time of entering the month of Maharam or often called the month of Suro in Javanese tradition. This reog ponorogo staging is a series of birthday of Ponorogo city or also Grebeg Suro event.

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11. Singo Ulung Dance

Singo Ulung dance is a very famous traditional art and a pride for the people of Bondowoso, East Java Province. In the show, Singo Ulung Dance is packed into a story that tells from the beginning of kiai singo ulung and Jasiman meetings until the village was built. In the show there were lion dancers, banners (one representing Jasiman), two people using rattan (depicting a fight between Jasiman and Kiai Singo Wulu), a female dancer (depicting Kiai Singo Wulu’s wife) and kiai (depicting Kiai Singo Wulu).

The dancers while dancing, they will also dialogue like a drama. Also in this Singo Ulung Dance show there are also some attractions of the lion dancers that will make the show more interesting. In this Singo Ulung Dance show there is also some simple gamelan music accompaniment like kendang, trumpet and other instruments.

12. Thengul dance

Thengul Dance is a traditional dance inspired by Wayang thengul from Bojonegoro, East Java Province. In this dance is usually performed dancers in groups with movements, expressions and costumes that resemble the Thengul Puppet. Thengul dance is in addition created for the art, as well as a form of appreciation and effort in raising the art of Thengul Puppet which is currently almost drowned.

Thengul dance is usually displayed by 7 (seven) female dancers in costume and also makeup of white face as well as dolls. The dancer is dancing like a Thengul Puppet with rigid movements and facial expressions that look funny to create an impression of humor and always entertaining in every show. Movement and facial expressions make the special characteristic of this Thengul Dance.

13. Seblang Dance

Seblang is one of the traditions of the Osing community in Banyuwangi, East Java. This tradition is a tradition as a clean village needs and reject the reinforcement to keep the village safe and peaceful. Tradition seblang can only be found in two villages within the district Glagah, Banyuwangi, namely the village of Bakungan and Bysari.

Seblang is basically a typical dance of the Osing tribe in Banyuwangi District. There is a resemblance between this Seblang Dance with Sanghyang ritual in Bali Province and Sintren dance ritual in Cirebon.

Other Traditional Dances (14-20)

  • Topeng Malangan Dance: one of the traditional arts originating from Malang, East Java. This dance is a dance performance where all the cast will wear a mask.
  • Remo Dance: Remo dance is a typical East Java welcome dance. Areas that use this remo dance include Surabaya, Jombang, Malang, and also Situbondo. This dance is packed as a picture of courage from a prince who is struggling in the battlefield.
  • Giri Gora Dahuru Daha Dance: one of the dances from East Java Province that retells the story of Candidate Charcoal. In this ballet, Candidate Charcoal is portrayed as an evil woman who is hurt because her child no one wants to woo.
  • Gembu Dance: It is one of the traditional dances that come from Sumenep, Madura, East Java Province. This dance is a traditional dance depicting an event in a soldier battle.
  • Boran Dance: It is one of the traditional dances originating from Lamongan, East Java. This dance depicts the life of the sellers of rice boran selling their wares and interacting with buyers.
  • Batik Pace Dance: This dance is inspired by the founder of Pacitan City who in his struggle to drink pace (one kind of herbal fruits) juice that grows a lot in the area Pacitan.
  • Jaranan Buto Dance: It is a traditional dance originated from Banyuwangi and Blitar regencies. In the show, Jaranan Buto will use the property of an artificial horse as well as on traditional Jaran Kepang art. But horses wear giant-faced or Buto as well as the players who also wear makeup like a giant.

Those are the dances in East Java. Once you have a leisure time while visiting East Java, seeing one of these traditional dance could be a nice thing to do. It means you have helped us to preserve one of the Javanese culture.

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Kategori : Dance