In the royal palace Karaton of Yogyakarta, a 62 year old man is dancing steadily following the melody of live gamelan music, sometimes slow, other time fast and dynamic. He does dance quite impressive, he has a good endurance despite his age. No wonder, he is Pak (father) Mulyono, an old-crack Javanese classical dancer from Sasminta Mardowo Foundation, Pujokusuman, Yogyakarta.

After the dance performance, a younger brother of the present king-Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X, teased him smilingly: "Pak Mul, I do not know that you still can dance. I thought you are already a wayang (puppet) in the wooden box". Immediately he added: "Pak Mul don't be upset, I am only joking. Bravo, keep dancing, it makes you fit and young". "Gusti (Prince), I do not make any plan to dance tonight, especially in a serious performance in karaton. But you know, my friend who supposed to dance, he is sick suddenly. So, I have no choice", said Pak Mul smiling politely. Sometimes, he dances also in Pujokusuman mansion, in official performances. At least once a week, he joins dance exercise in Pujokusuman. He said happily that he is only doing a physical exercises accompanied by live gamelan, it is "the best sport" he enjoys. Really by practising Javanese dance, he is happy. He has a peaceful mind, no stress!

Pak Mulyono, a father of 7 children, a grand-father of 8 Grand-children, has learnt dancing since he was 19 year old by joining Irama Citra Dance Foundation for 3 years. In his own words he said: "I learn dancing seriously only by chance in 1971, I always accompany my little daughter to learn dancing in Pujokusuman, under the charismatic dance Guru Rama (father) Sas". He paused smoking his kretek (clove) cigarette. He is proud that his daughter Luh Kuntari, become one of the leading dancers.
"Listening to gamelan music and watching some people dancing, I feel strongly attracted. A bit shy as I was not young anymore (34 year old), I ask Romo Sas, whether I'm permitted also to learn.
The wise Romo Sas accepted me with open heart. Probably, I have a natural talent, so I could learn relatively fast. The most important thing, I love Javanese court dance whole heartedly!"
Rama Sas appointed him in 1976, to be the secretary of "Pamulangan Beksa Ngayogyakarta" In 1979, Pak Mulyono was assigned as the Chairman of "Mardawa Budaya".

Since 1979, he participated in dance performance with "Pamulangan Beksa Ngayogyakarta" and "Mardawa Budaya". Usually he was assigned to dance as Bisma. He remembers a beautiful moment, when in 1982, together with his daughter they performed together in the dance: "A fight between Srikandi and Bisma". Her daughter was Srikandi, he was Bisma. He participated also in wayang wong performance with the stories of: "Sumantri Ngenger" (Sumantri serves King Arjuna Sasrabahu) "Sesaji Rajasuya" (Offering of a Great King)

A Journalist cum Photographer

By profession, Pak Mulyono is a journalist cum photographer of a local renown newspaper. He has a hobby in photography since 1956. It is his whole life career. For several years he had been working in Rice Center Office (Padi Sentra) and in Mt. Merapi Project. But he comes back to the job he likes the most-journalism. The job suits him, as he likes to meeting people. He is very happy anytime he is assigned to cover art performances. He makes the news, he takes some photos. He has a rich collection of dance performances held in Yogyakarta, since 1960 to present date.

In mid of 1999, he organized the first photo exhibition of Javanese dance performances in Yogyakarta since 1960 to present date. All were photos taken by himself. It was a great contribution to the development of Javanese classical dance. He was opening a big important album, significant to all parties having interest of Javanese classical dances. Pak Mulyono, a healthy and friendly man is one of the genuine sources of the development of Javanese dance in Yogyakarta.

His contact address:
Pesindenan PB/111
Phone: 62-274-384721

(Suryo S. Negoro)

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