Wednesday, November 27, 2013

An amazing ‘reog’ festival in Surakarta

Tens of dancers and musicians performing reog (masked dance) entertained hundreds of people who attended the Semarak Singo Barong (the glorious monstrous tiger) festival in Surakarta, Central Java, on Tuesday night.
Held outdoors for the first time at Balaikota (city hall), the event's main attractions included warok (ascetic expert of martial arts) lifting tens of kilograms using their teeth, Bujanganom and Jathilan (the bamboo horse dance).
It told the story of King Kerono from Ponorogo Kingdom, who wanted to propose marriage to a Kediri princess named Dewi Ragil Kuning. But on his way to Kediri Kingdom, his entourage was ambushed by King Singa Barong from Kediri Kingdom.
The festival aimed to accommodate reog's increasing popularity in Surakarta, although it is originally born in the city of Ponorogo.
"As both are cities in East Java, Surakarta and Ponorogo share similar histories," Surakarta Culture and Tourism Office head Widdi Srihanto told The Jakarta Post Travel during the show. "This is why you will find that many reog dancers and musicians performing inside and outside the country, are actually Surakartans or learned their skills in Surakarta."
To attract more interest to the festival, competitions were also held with categories for children, teenager and adult. (Jakarta Post)
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