Jakarta, IO – The peak of the Banyuwangi Gandrung Festival was held at Boom Marini Beach, Banyuwangi, East Java, Saturday (16/9). The theme of this year’s event is “Omprog, Art to Greatness”.
According to Banyuwangi Tourism website, “omprog” is the crown of Gandrung dancers which has artistic value and is full of meaning. This crown is a symbol of head protection that keeps the dancers conscious and able to control themselves.
The day before the peak of the event, Banyuwangi regent Ipuk Fiestiandani installed an omprog in the “Meras Gandrung” ritual tradition at Boom Beach Banyuwangi. The Meras Gandrug ritual indicates that someone is ready to become a professional gandrung. This procession was led by Banyuwangi’s legendary senior gandrung dancer, Mbok Temuk.
Gandrung dance comes from the Javanese word “gandrung”, which means “to be deeply in love” or “to be smitten with someone or something”. The colossal dance is still in the same genre as ketuk tilu in West Java, tayub in Central Java and western part of East Java, lengger in Banyumas and joged tubeng in Bali.
According to the Ministry of Education and Culture’s website, this dance involves professional female dancers who dances with guests (mainly men), accompanied by gamelan. The dancers have been practicing for two months. They are elementary and high school students from all over Banyuwangi who have passed the selection.
The Gandrung Sewu Festival is also accompanied by the Semarak Dirgantara event which will take place from September 14-16. Apart from dance performances, there is also a flypast formation by the Indonesian Air Force fighter planes. (at)