Srimpi Traditional Dance
Classical Central-Javanese Royaldances from Solo (Surakarta)
At the central Javanese courts of Surakarta (Solo), Indonesia are different styles of dancing taught, like: srimpi, bedoyo and wireng. The first two are danced in a group of 4 resp. 9 dancers. They act out an abstract form (psychological) of fighting. In the wireng dances are the fights fought with traditional wapons like the keris and bow-and-arrow. Often these are duets that can be performed by both men and women. The characters originate from the Ramayana and Mahabharata stories.
Besides that is it possible to divide the dances in tree different types of performing styles. First it can be performed by women - putri style, secondly by man or woman - putra halus or which is called the elegant male style and finally by men - gagah or forceful male style.
In addition to this we can find elements from other cultures in the javanese dancing. These are for example the deep knee bowed position and the fluid changes of weight from the chinese tai chi and japanese aikido movement- and fighting sports. The gracious and expressive arm-hand movements are based upon the old indian dance art.
Srimpi: a sacral dance with four female dancers presenting the four directions north-south east-west. This is a traditional courtdance and lasts about twenty minutes for a start(instead of the fourty in Indonesia).
Wigena: traditional srimpi like dance to make the atmosphere right for the coming dances.
Tayungan: a dance form where during the walkingmovements a wide variety of arm-hand-head movements are gracefully demonstrated. Rythm and harmony are central here.
Bondhan: a solo-dance portraying a young girl who goes with her baby brother/sister to the river to wash and feed him/her.
Gambyong: This dance does not represent a story, but here the dancers give graciously shape to the lively and rythmic complicated movements supported by the gamelan music. Often is this kind of dance performed as a welcome to the guests because of it's lively character and trying to set a good mood for the evening that follows
Srikandi Mustakaweni: a traditional courtdance about princes Srikandi and Butu (decended demon who turned into a good looking woman) woman Mustakaweni who fight their way out.
Karonsih: love duet
Mondrorini (wireng dance): this is a type of dance where two princesses (with two ministers) fight for a prince. First they circle around each other to find out how strong they are. Than they start the fight with the keris and later with bow-and-arrow. The struggle ends undecided and in mutual harmony they end the dance.
Enggar-enggar: a duet with putri(girl) and putra halus(youngman)/gagah. After a long time two young lovers finally meet again. They circle around each other, pull each others attention and turn away when they get the attention. Finally they take each other in their arms and leave together.
Menakoncar: a solo-dance from the Langendriyan theatre, performed by man or woman in putra halus or gagah style. This story is about a knight who has to leave his famiy to go to war. It represents the struggle inside, he wants to go and on the otherside he does not want. He wants to defend his country, but he knows deep in his heart that he will not return.
Golek: a dance where the dancers show their mastering the complex gracious movements of the courtdances, alternating with the more # expressive movements and rythm that represent make-up and applying clothing.
Gunung Sari: a male solo dance with mask in putra halus style from the Panji stories. This dance is about Gunung Sari who is looking for his beloved one, but he can not find her. In the dance the mask is brought to life.
Retno Pamoedjo: this is a dance that can be performed as a solodance and as a fight between 2 dancers. The dance is about Srikandi, the youngest wife of Krishna. She is the only wife of the 5 that has mastered the art of fighting. In the dance the keris (knife) and bowl-and-arrow are used to show how usage of these dance items is mastered.
Retno Pamoedjo Dance
The putra halus - gracious male dance - can be performed by a male or female performer. The above mentioned dances exist in different forms. As well as in the music pieces as in the various walking and hand decorative movements a wide variety is possible.