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Kind Of Java Dance


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There are a great number of dances of the common people in Central Java. Those worth mentioning are the topeng dance, the kuda-kepang dance, the tledek dance and the katoprak dance-drama.

At first the ketoprak dance-drama was accompanied only by a very simple instrument, a lesung, which is an implement for pounding rice. This dance-drama of the common people emphasizes the drama rather than the dance and Uses dialogue, songs and Javanese prose. This immensely popular ketoprak has in the course of time developed very satisfactorily, and has become a branch of Javanese dance-drama with a high artistic value. The accompanying instrument is no longer a lesung but a Javanese gamelan (Javanese music). The stories presented are usually from Indonesian history or legends.

series of celebrations commemorating Independence Day on 17 August 1961 the Indonesian Republic awarded to each of them the Wijayakusuma award, the highest award in tile arts given by the Republic of Indonesia,
In 1919 an association Was Set up called java-Institute, with the aim of cultivating and developing Javanese, Balinese and Madurese art, The Java-Institute has branches in Central Java in Yogyakarta, Surakarta and Semarang.

Thus since the twenties Javanese dancing, Yogyakarta and Surakarta styles, has had a most favourable development and its democratic spirit, has become manifest. The development has been still more rapid and extensive in outlaying districts since the independence of Indonesia in 1945. Since independence regional dancing, whether dances, which can be enjoyed by all members of the Indonesian court-dances or dance of the common people, have become national society, though each region has a style of its own.

The efforts made to adapt national dances, either from the court or the common people, to the taste of the new Indonesian society, show that since independence Indonesian dancing is being modernized. In the first chapter, the Introduction, modernized. In the first chapter, the Introduction, this process of modernization has been explained at lenght.
From the point of view of the historical development of dances in Central Java, we can classify them into three groups, classical dances, folk dances and modern dances.
To classical dances belong compositions of court-dances which developed favourably in the past and which at present are being adapted to the essence and spirit of modern Indonesian society. To the group of modern dances belong new dance compositions which did not exist in the period of Feudal Society (up to 1945).

These modern dances may take the form of a solo-dance or a dance-drama. It is worth nothing that in their cultivation of modern dances both Surakarta style and Yogyakarta style often take elements of dance-movements from other non-Javanese styles, as do the gendings (melodies) accompanying them.

From the point of view of material, movements, accompaniment, and the story presented, Javanese dancing Surakarta style and Yogyakarta style, can be differentiated into three groups:

(1) Simplification or shortening of classical commpositions.

(2) New dance compositions taking elements of movement from various dance movements from other classical dances and folk dances.

(3) New dance compositions entirely free from any tendencies
or rules of. classical dancing.
The three dance compositions mentioned obove, all of which are new in spirit, can be classified again as follows. The first dance compositions can be grouped under classical Javanese dancing, while the second and the third belong to modern dancing.


To the group of Javanese classical dances, Surakarta and Yogyakarta styles, belong the dances inherited from the courts of the feudal period, which after independence were adapted to the modern period.

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