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Jaipongan |
Jaipongan, also known as Jaipong, is a popular traditional dance of Sundanese people, West Java, Indonesia. The dance was created by Gugum Gumbira, based on traditional Sundanese Ketuk Tilu music and Pencak Silat movements.

Jaipongan, also known as jaipong, is a musical performance genre of the Sundanese people in the Sundanese language of West Java, Indonesia. Jaipongan includes revived indigenous arts, like gamelan, but it also did not ignore Western music completely despite the ban on rock and roll. It used its sensuality and the sensuality found in a traditional village music and dance, ketuk tilu. However, many believe it is something purely Indonesian or Sundanese in origin and style. It is developed predominately from rural folk forms and traditions as a purely indigenous form. The rise of cassettes and films has led to the popularity of the musical form of jaipongan. It has spread from its home in West Java’s Sunda, to greater Java and Indonesia. It can be seen as many regional varieties of gong-chime performance found through much of Indonesia. As also an urban dance form, it is based primarily on the village forms of ketuk tilu and on the Indonesian martial arts, pencak silat. The musical genre is largely influenced from ketuk tilu with traces of the masked theater dance, topeng banjet and the wayang golek puppet theater. Ketuk tilu is its biggest influence, as a traditional Sudanese musical entertainment form.

Gong-chime performance is characterized by such features as: use of an ensemble dominated by idiophones, metallophones and knobbed gongs. It is a stratified polyphony, with lower-pitch instruments playing parts of lesser density and all parts are structured colotomically around time-cycles. This can be found in traditional Indonesian gamelan. There is improvisation on certain instruments. The modes used are grouped into two broad types: slendro and pelog.

Ketuk tilu was a musical genre based off ritual and celebration in the villages of the Sundanese people, meaning three kettle gongs. It was known for complex drumming coordinated with equally dynamic solo female dancers. The music was performed for planting and harvesting rituals and later celebrated village life, circumcision and marriage, expressed fertility, and displayed sensuality, eroticism and even sometimes “socially accepted prostitution.” Ketuk tilu was very popular in the Sundanese villages, but the urban Sundanese considered it unrefined and inappropriate because the music involved males and females dancing together suggestively, or mixed dancing between men and ronggeng, or prostitutes. Ronggeng probably has existed in Java since ancient time, the bas reliefs in Karmawibhanga section on Borobudur displays the scene of travelling entertainment troupe with musicians and female dancers.

Jaipong is less strictly associated with ceremonial functions, but performances are common in the Rayagung festival month, and with circumcisions and marriages. The performances now have the character of secular social functions, attended by young and old, primarily for entertainment and socializing. Public performance is now extremely frequent especially in clubs or street performances.

The cassette industry and its boom in Indonesia helped popularize jaipongan greatly and promoted regional styles rather than hurt them. Many learned the dance through cassette rather than the performance. The mass media have made jaipong ubiquitous. It has created competition in the styles of the drummers among ensembles. It has also helped to bring about many dance schools, altering dance and its label on females in West Java.

The song repertoire of jaipongan is varied, and that is why it is better understood as an intertwined performance style of music and dance. Many songs are associated with ketuk tilu or other wide reaching regional varieties, not traditional gamelan. It consists of songs of more recent origin often composed for jaipongan. Song topics vary, encompassing amatory, moralistic, bawdy, topical and spiritual subjects, often emphasizing grass roots culture.
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Reog Ponorogo |
Reog is a traditional Indonesian dance form. There are many types of Reogs in Indonesia, but the most notable ones are Reog Ponorogo (East Java) and Reog Sunda (West Java). Although both share a similar name, there is no connection nor similar theme among these traditions. Reog Ponorogo seems to be the kind of dance that demonstrate physical strength and extravagant lion-peafowl mask and costumes, while Reog Sunda is a lot more like a traditional musical comedy and dance.

Reog is a traditional dance that become the main identity for Ponorogo Regency. Reog National Festival is held every years along the anniversary of Ponorogo regency and Grebeg Suro celebration. Reog dance is also staged full moon nightly in paseban, Ponorogo town square. Reog told about the struggle for a prince who will propose to a beautiful princess. Reog Ponorogo tells the story of a mythical battle between the King of Ponorogo and the magical lion-like creature called Singa Barong. Singa Barong is a large mask usually made of tiger's or leopard's head skin, upon the mask attached a large fan adorned with peafowl feathers. The Singa Barong mask was notoriously heavy, the dancer of Singo Barong bear the mask about 30 – 40 kg weight and supported by the strength of their teeth.

The leading figures in Reog Ponorogo performance includes:

  • Klono Sewandono, A men in regal attire wearing mask in proud and pompous dance, play the role as the King of Ponorogo
  • Bujang Anom, rough youthful men wearing red mask, they performed acrobatic dances and sometimes also involved trance.
  • Jatil, the youthful handsome horsemen riding horses made of weaved bamboo, similar to Kuda Lumping dance. Today Jatil usually performed by female dancers.
  • Warok, played as Singa Barong, the mythical creature. The one that allowed to performed this mask dance is called warok. A warok is the hororary title of local hero or strongman of the village that possessed both exceptional spiritual and phyisical strength. The dance itself is demonstration of phyisical strength of the dancers.

Reog Ponorogo usually consists of three sets of dances; each dance is performed by several dancers:

  • The first dance is the opening dance, performed by Bujang Anom, male dancers wearing black costumes. The costume describe rough men with intimidating moustache and other masculinity symbols.
  • The second dance is the Jaran Kepang dance performed by Jatil; it is originally performed by a gemblak, a handsome and youthful teenage boy wearing colourful costumes. Today the female dancers were usually played this role.
  • The third dance is the main attraction of the show; it is performed by all the Reog dancers. The warok as the main male dancer, wearing a large and heavy lion mask, dances in the centre of the stage while the other dancers dance around him. To demonstrate the warok's extraordinary strength Jatil or female dancers riding on top of lion mask and being carried around.

Culture and traditions of Reog Ponorogo

The dance describe Klono Sewandono the king of Ponorogo on his journey to Kediri to seek the hands of Princess Songgo Langit. On his journey he was attacked by a vicious monster called Singa Barong, a mythical lion with peacock on its head. Historians trace the origin of Reog Ponorogo as the satire on the incompetence of Majapahit rulers during the end of the empire. It describe the innate Ponorogo liberty and its opposition on centralist Majapahit rule. The lion represent the king of Majapahit while the peafowl represent the queen, it was suggested that the king was incompetent and always being controlled by his queen. The beautiful, youthful and almost effeminate horsemen describe the Majapahit cavalry that have lost their manliness.

Reog Sunda is very different than Ponorogo one, reog Sunda did not incorporate a large lion mask adorned with peafowl feathers like Reog Ponorogo, and did not incorporate trance state. The Reog Sunda performance combines comedy, joke, music, and funny comical movements and dances of the performers. The performers usually consist of four personnel, one called dalang directing the shows, similar to dalang in wayang performance, one called wakil or vice-dalang, the other two were the performers that interact and do the order of the dalang. Each performers carying and using musical instruments such as dogdog, beungbreung, gudubrag (types of traditional drums), and kecrek (similar to maraca) or tambourine, other instruments such as kendang, gong, kacapi might also used. The performance usually took one hour to one and half hour of music, dance and jokes, filled with social messages or religious wisdom.
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Amorphophallus Titanum |
The titan arum grows in the wild only in the equatorial rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia. It was first scientifically described in 1878 by Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari. The plant flowers only infrequently in the wild and even more rarely when cultivated. It first flowered in cultivation at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London, in 1889, with over 100 cultivated blossoms since then. The first documented flowerings in the United States were at New York Botanical Garden in 1937 and 1939. This flowering also inspired the designation of the titan arum as the official flower of the Bronx in 1939, only to be replaced in 2000 by the day lily. The number of cultivated plants has increased in recent years, and it is not uncommon for there to be five or more flowering events in gardens around the world in a single year. The titan arum is more commonly available to the advanced gardener due to pollination techniques.

The popular name 'Titan arum' was invented by the broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough, for his BBC series 'The Private Life of Plants,' in which the flowering and pollination of the plant were filmed for the first time. Attenborough felt that constantly referring to the plant as Amorphophallus on a popular TV documentary would be inappropriate.


In 2003, the tallest bloom in cultivation, some 2.74 m (8 ft. 11 in.) high, was achieved at the Botanical Garden of the University of Bonn in Germany. The event was acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records. On 20 October 2005, this record was broken at the botanical and zoological garden Wilhelma in Stuttgart, Germany. The bloom reached a height of 2.94 m (9 ft. 6 in.).
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