R.M.T. Ronosuripto

One Evening in the Netherlands

In a bright cool summer evening in the early of 1980, in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw/Building, the Netherlands, a sound of Javanese gamelan music attracted the attention of many people. Who were playing the gamelan? They were Dutch youngsters from the gamelan orchestra ‘PRAMUDA BUDAYA’ Amsterdam led by drs. E.L. Heins. The gamelan was accompanying a wayang kulit show with the story ‘Abduction of Sinta’.

The dalang was an Indonesian artist in his forties, Ronosuripto. He has been working in the Netherlands (1970 – 1980) in the Ministry of Culture (C.R.M). His cultural background at his hometown in Solo and his experience as Javanese art teacher of dance and gamelan in Bandung, have made him invited to spread his knowledge in the country of windmills.

He had taught Javanese arts in several towns in Hollands, such as:
Gamelan and Dance in Amsterdam
Gamelan and Dance in Den Haag / The Hague
Gamelan and Dalang in Delft
Gamelan in Rotterdam
Gamelan in Leiden

He has also been teaching at the famous Centrum of Ethno - Musicology Van Jaap Kunst. For wayang shadow performance, Mr. Ronosuripto had performed also in many places such as in Tropenmuseum Amsterdam, Lutherse Kerk – The Hague etc.

In gamelan music, he is a specialist of Kendang (a small wooden drum, covered with leather at both end) in the dance, as he is considered ‘Tall’ for Javanese, he was given a chance To dance Klono (Solo dance) and as Ksatria-Warrior: Bima, Gatotkaca or the giant Niwatakawaca.

During his more than a decade stay in the Netherlands, he had trained so many students, male and female, to dance and to play gamelan. Some of them could very well dance and play the gamelan. As a Javanese, he is proud that in the Netherlands, there are several active gamelan and dance clubs.

In the cradle of Javanese Art and Culture

In his old days, he came back to his birth place. He is living now with his family in the housing complex of Puro Mangkunagaran. In his 67 years of age, R.M.T. Ronosuripto is still active working as a dance expert in Langenprojo, a department in Mangkunagaran Palace engaged in Dance, gamelan Music and Singing activities.

With a high mental attitude, as in accordance with his ability, R.M.T. Ronosuripto, who was since his early childhood has learned Mangkunagaran art with all his heart, is very much concern for the preservation, maintenance and development of Javanese art and culture, especially in the field of dance, gamelan music and wayang kulit (leather puppet) performance.

( Suryo S. Negoro )

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