Re-appreciate Jaipong Dance

RumingkangWhen I was a child, I desired to learn pendet, a dance from Bali. I liked the dancers’ eyes. They open wide and wild. It is very different with a dance from my region, jaipong. This dance looks bored, old-fashioned, hick, and the dancers sometimes has to do some movement with her hip or back.

At last, I never learnt pendet dance because then I was interested in modern dance or hip hop. When I was in high school I danced with my friends in group. We thought it was cool, dancing with the songs from Christina Aguilera or Santana.

However, within these two months I never miss watching Indonesia Mencari Bakat. I like that program because the participants show their talent not only in singing or playing music, but also in dancing. Then I watch this participant. Rumingkang. It changes my mind about jaipong dance.

Rumingkang is a dance group from Bandung. They do jaipong (or jaipongan), the dance based on traditional Sundanese Ketuk Tilu music and Pencak Silat movements. We all Indonesian know, there was a controversy about jaipong movements. Some people thinks that the dance created by Gugum Gumbira in 1974 is erotic.

But from Rumingkang, I even change my opinion. Rumingkang shows that jaipong can be modern, fun, and not erotic. With the dynamic strikes of kendang, a kind of percussion from West Java, the dancers dance so energetic, fast, funny, and distinctly. They also wear colorful costume and it is not very fit in their body.

The dance itself is not original jaipong dance. The choreographer modifies some movements so it becomes a contemporary jaipong dance. Maybe that is why people like jaipong danced by Rumingkang.

And maybe this is the way so people can re-appreciate and conserve traditional dance. I give two thumbs up for people like Rumingkang. [photo from]


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