Dieny & Yusuf

Sundanese Dance

Posted on: March 3, 2007

Though Sundanese dance is a first glance quite similar to Javanese dance, it is not usually considered to be as refined and varied as Javanese dance. The individual dances tend to be shorter, depicting certain situations or encounters in legends rather than entire stories. On form of dance is the tari topeng (mask dance), which originated in the Cirebon area. Some dances, such as the Peacock Dance, are new creations by contemporary choreographers.

            The best place to watch Sundanese dance performances is at the Arts Academy ASTI is beginning to stage more frequent performances (022-421532 of inquiries).

            A dance traditionally preconceived as somewhat vulgar (to the point of being associated with prostitution) and meant for the common people is the the ketuk tilu. It used to be by roving troupes and featured a drum, a fiddle and a small set of gongs. A cultural descendant of ketuk tilu is jaipongan, which has gained in social respectability. Even so, the dance is mostly performed in simpler settings, and an invitation to attend a jaipongan dance is often made tongue in-cheek, the connotation being that the female dancer would be accessible for further negotiations after the performance. Jaipongan is now accompanied by a gamelan salendro and complemented by a singer and a drummer. The audience is quite often invited to join the dancing on stage. A place to experience all the ramifications of jaipongan is the Sanggar Seni Purwa on Gang Tegal Lega, off Jl. Otto Iskandardinata.

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