S.M.K.I - School of Performing Arts Yogyakarta


As an appreciation of Yogyakarta as the center of Javanese culture, especially in the field of classical dance, the government had decided to establish, in 1961, a high school for Javanese dance by the name of Konservatori Tari (KONRI) Yogyakarta. The ceremony was inaugurated by the then Minister of Education and Culture, the late Prof. DR. Prijono, who himself was a cultural expert, in the field of literature, languages and arts.

With the kindness, as well as the high consciousness of the late Prince Tejokusumo, who himself was a devout Javanese art lover and expert, KONRI used a part of his aristocratic mansion until 1974, KONRI was also given permission to use the gamelan music sets belonged to him.

The late Prince Tejokusumo, together with the late Prince Suryodiningrat were avanguards of Javanese court dance by introducing it, outside the Karaton wall since 1918 by the establishment of a court classical dance institution by the name of KRIDA BEKSA WIRAMA.

The first headmaster of Konri was R. Riyo Kusumobroto, the son of Prince Tejokusumo. In 1976, Konri’s name had been changed to SMKI. It had 3 subjects of art study, namely:

  1. Karawitan - Javanese gamelan music.
  2. Tari - Traditional Dance
    Majoring :
    1. Javanese
    Other :
    1. Balinese
    2. Sundanese
  3. Teater
    1. Modern Theatre (Stage Drama)
    2. Wayang Puppet Performance.

After that S.M.K.I. had to move its school, again by borrowing a building of Karaton Yogyakarta in:

  • N Dalem Notoprajan, West of Karaton and purchased

  • N Dalem Ngadiwinatan, South Square

  • The school has started to purchase its own assets, among other:

  • 4 sets of gamelan slendro and pelog

  • 3 sets of wayang leather puppets

  • etc.

Since 1994, until today, the official name is SMK Negeri I (Public Vocational High School I). Its principal is Ms. Soertiyati Dytee Triwaloeyo, who is a guru in KONRI since 1964.

Prominent Figures

Since its early years, the school always had their outstanding members in the field of arts.

In the field of Javanese Dance, some of the gurus were:

  • K.R.T. Sasmintodipuro, the late, (Rama Sas).
  • Mr. Bagong Kussudiardjo
  • Prof. Dr. Wisnoe Wardhana
  • Sunartomo
  • Sunardi (still active up to now).

Some prominent Jogjanese dancers, alumni of KONRI/SMKI. a.o. are:

  • Ms. Th. Suharti
  • Trinardono
  • Ben Suharto, the late.

The gurus of Wayang Puppets Performance a.o.:

  • Ki Kuswadji, the late.
  • Ki Basirun Hadisumarto
  • R.B. Cermogupito
  • R.W. Cermosubarno

The gurus in the field of Modern Theater, a.o. were:

  • Mr. Murtri Purnomo
  • Mr. Moch. Tahar

The gurus of Gamelan Music, a.o.:

  • KRT. Madukusumo
  • KRT. Wasitadiningrat
  • Mr. Hardjosubroto, expert of music the 2nd Principal of KONRI

Prof. DR. Soedarsono, the ex rector of I.S.I. was also teaching at KONRI/SMKI, when he was a fresh University Graduate also served as 3rd Principal of KONRI.

The School Production House

In order to familiarize the students with the show biz, the school in cooperation with other parties makes performances outside, in the field of Gamelan Orchestra, Javanese Dance and Wayang Puppet Performance.

The school is able to provide everything to make the performance succesful, including the artists, the gamelan, the wayang and other accessories. The school has cooperation with some star-rated hotels which perform regular show.

For industrial practises, S.M.K.I is cooperating with R.R.I – State Radio, T.V.R.I. State Television, Bagong Kussiardjo art center and some entertainment establishments. For wayang Puppeteers in Sono Budoyo Museum and Swastigata Studio.

The school is also participating in several art events in Yogyakarta, such as the opening of Sekaten, every year in the Javanese month of Mulud and events organized by the Office of Yogyakarta Special Region.

At present S.M.K.I stays in the same complex with The High Schools of Fine Arts (SMSR) and Music (S.M.M.), above the land of more than 84.000 sqm. Each of them, has their own building to study. But they have facilities to be used together such as the Pendopo (open hall) of 1292 sqm, library and auditorium.

The name of the complex is "Mardawa Mandala" high school of arts. The official address of SMKI, Yogyakarta is:

Complex Mardawa Mandala
Jalan PG. Madukismo BUGISAN
Phone. 062. 274. 374467
Yogyakarta 55182

(Suryo S. Negoro)

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