Classical Court Dance Puro Pakualaman

The court ceremony to commemorate the birthday (Wiyosan Dalem) of K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam VIII is always solemnly conducted in the great and splendid hall Sewotomo of Puro Pakualaman. Prior to the ceremony, some traditional offerings and ritual meal have been done. The hall is decorated beautifully as in accordance with a long years of court tradition. The most important ornaments are made from yellow coconut leaves.

This 90th Javanese birthday ceremony was a very special occasion, where Sri Paku Alam VIII invited local high ranking officials and other dignitaries with the performance of Bedaya Renyep. The word Renyep means beautiful or very bright. The seven ladies were dancing marvelously with accompaniment of gending (gamelan melody) Renyep.

The atmosphere in the hall was sacred, very guiet only the gamelan music played by Langenprojo court-employees was heard, exposing the dignity and grandeur of K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam VIII. Except the philosophical intention of this Bedaya Renyep, it was showing something beautiful of the life and experience of Sri Paku Alam VIII: his coronation in 1937, his positive cooperation with Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX to develop Yogyakarta Special Region and his happy family life.

Bedaya Tejanata
Bedaya TejanataThe ‘shining King’ Bedaya was very popular in Puro Pakualaman during the reign of K.G.P.A.A. VII. He had married with Princess Retno Puwoso, a daughter of Sri Paku Buwono X of Surakarta. It seems that this Bedaya Tejanata, marked symbolically the shining, brighter life of the court family. A son from this harmonious marriage, became the new ruler K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam VIII.

Bedaya Angronakung
Bedaya AngronakungThe gamelan accompaniment was traced back from the period of Sri Pakualam II. The dance was depicting the romantic relation of Panji legend, originating from Kediri Kingdom. The love pursuit by Raden Panji and Princess Condrokirono ended happily in their wedding.

Bedaya Wiwoho
This bedaya dance is accompanied by gamelan ‘gendhing’ melody Mangu. It was performed during the last 91th Javanese birthday of K.G.P.A.A. Paku Alam VIII in July 1998 (equal to more than 88 years of international calendar)

The most popular Srimpi in Puro Pakualaman is Sangupati. The other Srimpi are Dempel, Gambir Sawit, Anglir Mendhung etc. which are adopted from Surakarta style. In the development, some of the movement are of Yogya style influence.

Other Dances:

Dance Drama / Sendra Tari
This dance drama Banjaransari, the preservation from the creation during Sri Paku Alam V. Mostly performed in seated position.

Bondo Boyo
Bondo BoyoIt was preserved from the time of Sri Paku Alam II.

The golek cluntang dance. In the old days the dancers were male. Now, they are female dancers. Sri Paku Alam VIII in his youth was famous as Abimayu dancer (Abimayu, a son of Arjuna from Mahabarata epic)

The classical court dance in Puro Pakualaman is just natural if from the very beginning, it is also showing the sign of Joged (dance) Mataram. Sri Paku Alam I was also one the brightest son of Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono I. Since Sri Paku Alam VII, the influence of Surakarta style was very strong, but it did not mean that strongly tradition of Yogyakarta character entirely changed. As the result thereof, some styles of Pakualaman were also created.

The Javanese arts and culture in gamelan, dance, wayang, tradition etc, contain various philosophical and symbolic meanings. A dancer who master the dance physical movements and spiritual meaning is comparable precisely to a man who can predict his life mission which can be achieved only by gamelan accompaniment. In fact, a gamelan melody is an illustration of the essence of life of human-beings.

Joglosemar Online is grateful to:
  1. Mr. R.M. Tamdaru Tjakrawerdaya, a cultural observer of Puro Pakualaman.
  2. Mrs. Hermien Kusmayati, a dance guru of Puro Pakualaman.

for the interview and the photos.

(Suryo S. Negoro)

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