Indonesian Traditional Dance – Indonesia, with its rich culture and traditions, is widely known in various parts of the world. This is a matter of pride for the world community in general, as well as for the Indonesian people in particular. Because, the cultural wealth and traditions of a country are actually the common wealth of mankind.

Paying special attention to Indonesian dance traditions will never end. This is because this Indonesian tradition is very, very diverse and has long developed in the lives of Indonesian people across ethnic groups and regions as a representation of the area of ​​origin of each type of dance.

As part of a shared responsibility, recognizing and caring for various cultural and traditional treasures has become a must. Therefore, recognizing the long journey of a tradition and culture, in this case traditional dance is an important thing.

History of Indonesian Traditional Dance

Tari tradisional Reog Ponorogo. Sumber :
Tari tradisional Reog Ponorogo. Sumber :

The long history of the journey of Indonesian dance traditions can be classified into at least four phases or four periods. namely the prehistoric period, dance during the Indonesian – Hindu era, during the Indonesian – Islamic period, and during the upheaval against colonialism. The following is a review of the four periods.

Prehistoric Time

In prehistoric times, Indonesian people were believed to still adhere to beliefs such as animism, dynamism, including atheism which was quite strong. As for the traditional dance forms that were created at that time, it was still in the form of simple foot and hand movements with nekara as a dance accompaniment instrument.

At that time, traditional dance was still associated with various beliefs that existed in the midst of society, such as being able to give a certain kind of power that was beyond the ability and common practice. Thus, various movements that are thick with magical and sacred elements emerge.

In general, this traditional dance in prehistoric times was more of a depiction or expression of a sense of joy and simplicity that colored folk parties at that time. At this time also later we can find a number of antiques that are of value at this time.

Indonesian-Hindu period

After the prehistoric period, the journey of traditional dance entered the Indonesian-Hindu phase. During the Indonesian-Hindu period, the art of dance began to get a lot of influence from Indian culture, which at that time began to intersect with the community. Thus the development of dance at that time gradually progressed

Pengaruh Hindu dalam tradisi tari Indonesia cukup kuat. Sumber :
Pengaruh Hindu dalam tradisi tari Indonesia cukup kuat. Sumber :

The development of dance at that time was growing rapidly until it became an important part in various religious ceremonies. As for the types of traditional Indonesian dances that were growing rapidly at that time, they included types of dances for traditional ceremonies, religious ceremonies, to just folk entertainment events.

For the source of the art of dance during the Indonesian-Hindu period, it is believed that it comes from the stories of the Mahabharata and also the Ramayana. This can be seen in the form of movement that is arranged in accordance with the needs of ceremonies based on the belief that the art of dance comes from the gods. The traditional dances at that time were grouped into royal dances and folk dances.

Indonesian-Islamic Period

Enter a new chapter. During the Indonesian-Islamic period, there were some adjustments to the function of dance to the changes in the civilization of society at that time, which indeed began to embrace the teachings of Islam as part of the impact of the spread of Islam which began to reach Indonesia.

One of the Islamic leaders at that time was like Sunan Kalijaga, who later created the Bedoyo Sapto dance with seven dancers. where the number seven is believed to symbolize the angels from heaven, namely Suprobo, Wilutomo, Rasiki, Surendro, Bagan Mayang, Irim-Irim, and Tunjung Biru.

Konon wayang merupakan salah satu wujud pengaruh Islam di Indonesia. Sumber :
Konon wayang merupakan salah satu wujud pengaruh Islam di Indonesia. Sumber :

Among the traditional Indonesian dances that existed and developed during the Indonesian-Islamic era include Serimpi, Bedoyo Ketawang, Gambyong, Pethilan, Wireng, and Wayang orang.

Time of upheaval/struggle

During this colonial era, the art of dance, whether we liked it or not, began to decline after several periods of significant progress. In fact, it could even be said that only the palace or palace environment still maintained the art of dance at that time. This, of course, cannot be separated from the social inadequacy caused by colonialism.

So, it is undeniable that the implementation of the dance was intended for various palace interests, such as in order to welcome the king’s guests, as part of a series of wedding events for the king’s son or daughter, the coronation of the king’s son or daughter. Until then, this condition actually gave birth to types of struggle dances and the spirit of heroism such as Warrior Dance, War Dance, and many more.

Types of Indonesian Traditional Dance

If previously the history of dance development in Indonesia has been discussed together, then as a complement, the following outlines the division of various kinds of dances into three types of traditional dances. This type of traditional dance is divided into primitive dance, classical dance, and folk dance.

Primitive Dance

Primitive dance is simply an expression of a will or public belief about something. This of course is closely related to the early emergence of dance, namely in prehistoric times. So that the form of primitive dance is still very simple, both in the elements of motion, clothing, makeup, accompaniment, to the place of performance

Classical Dance

The second type of dance is often referred to as classical dance. This type of classical dance has begun to develop with the elements of beauty. So do not be surprised if at the time classical dance began to exist and develop, the palace began to take a role in maintaining and civilizing even though it was limited to the palace and the nobility.

Meanwhile, classical dance movements have started to have certain rules. Among other things, in the aspect of dance movements which are arranged in a more thorough and binding manner. Even the supporting elements are also arranged, such as clothing, musical accompaniment, floor patterns, to dialogue.

Folk Dance

And finally, there is the folk dance which is a dance that lives and develops among the people themselves. This folk dance is fairly simple when compared to classical dances among courtiers and nobles. This dance movement is not so bound by the rules. The advantage of folk dance is that it is more varied.

Thus, a brief review of the history of the development of traditional dance traditions in Indonesia, as well as the types of traditional dance itself. Hopefully this review is useful. Don’t forget to share and look forward to other interesting reviews such as tourist villages and so on. That is all and thank you.