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REOG – The Dance of The Giant Mask

Barongan/Dadak Merak

(All the photos were taken during Reog performance at Tlatah Bocah – Festival Anak Merapi 2012 at Nglinggo, Samigaluh, Kulon Progo, Indonesia; 24 June 2012)

Reog adalah salah satu kesenian budaya yang berasal dari Jawa Timur bagian barat-laut, tepatnya Ponorogo.

Dalam pertunjukan Reog ditampilkan topeng berbentuk kepala singa yang dikenal sebagai Singabarong (raja hutan), yang menjadi simbol untuk Bhre Kertabhumi, raja Majapahit terakhir yang berkuasa pada abad ke-15.

Versi resmi alur cerita Reog Ponorogo kini adalah cerita tentang Raja Ponorogo yang berniat melamar putri Kediri, Dewi Ragil Kuning, namun di tengah perjalanan ia dicegat oleh Raja Singabarong dari Kediri. Pasukan Raja Singabarong terdiri dari merak dan singa, sedangkan dari pihak Kerajaan Ponorogo (Raja Klana Sewandana dan wakilnya, Bujang Anom) dikawal oleh warok.  Inti tarian Reog adalah perang yang terjadi antara pasukan Kerajaan Kediri dan Ponorogo.

Reog is one of the traditional performance arts originated from northwest of East Java, Ponorogo.

During the performance, the main attraction is the giant mask shaped like a lion’s head, which is known as “Singabarong” (the king of the jungle). The giant mask symbolizes Bhre Kertabhumi, the last king of Majapahit who ruled during the 15th century.

The original version of the Reog performance tells the story of the Klana Sewandana (Kelono Sewandono), the king of Ponorogo, who was about to propose the princess of Kediri, Dewi Ragil Kuning. On his way to Kediri, he was offended by King Singabarong of Kediri. King Singabarong’s army were lions and peacocks, while Klana Sewandana and his front men (known as Bujang Anom) were guarded by several “warok”.

The main content of the performance represents the battle between the armies of the two kingdoms—Ponorogo and Kediri.

Here are the characters in a Reog performance:

Barongan (Dadak Merak)—topeng singa raksasa yang menjadi bagian paling dominan dalam kesenian Reog Ponorogo. Dadak Merak ini berukuran panjang sekitar 2,25 meter, lebar sekitar 2,30 meter, dan beratnya hampir 50 kilogram. Yang luar biasa adalah bahwa topeng raksasa ini “dikendalikan” oleh penarinya hanya dengan menggunakan gigi.

Barongan (Dadak Merak)—the giant mask shaped like a lion’s head which becomes the most dominant part of Reog performance.

Dadak Merak is extremely huge in size; its length may reach up to 2.25m with its width up to 2.3m. The giant mask weighs around 50kg.

The breathtaking thing is that the dancers wearing the mask is “controlling” the huge mask only by relying on the strength of their teeth (the mask has a kind of handle to bite to allow the dancer to wear it).

Barongan/Dadak Merak

Barongan/Dadak Merak

Jathil—prajurit berkuda yang merupakan salah satu tokoh dalam seni Reog.

Jathilan merupakan tarian yang menggambarkan ketangkasan prajurit berkuda yang sedang berlatih di atas kuda. Tarian ini dibawakan oleh para penarinya secara berpasangan.

Jathilan ini pada mulanya ditarikan oleh laki-laki yang halus, berparas ganteng atau mirip dengan wanita yang cantik. Gerak tarinya pun lebih cenderung feminin. Kini, jathil ditarikan oleh penari putri.

Jathil—the horsemen troops; one of the roles in Reog performance.

Jathilan is part of the dance which represents the skill of the horsemen while riding on their horses. The dance is performed by several coupled dancers.

Jathilan was formerly performed by male dancers whose physical appearance are womanly as the movements are also somewhat feminine.

Nowadays, Jathilan is performed mostly by female dancers.

Jathil

Jathil

Warok—berasal dari kata wewarah (pengajaran). Warok adalah “wong kang sugih wewarah”;  seseorang bisa menjadi warok jika ia mampu memberi petunjuk atau pengajaran kepada orang lain tentang hidup yang baik.

Warok iku wong kang wus purna saka sakabehing laku, lan wus menep ing rasa”; artinya warok adalah orang yang sudah sempurna dalam laku hidupnya dan sampai pada pengendapan batin.

Warok—rooted from the word “wewarah” (to give knowledge/skill), “warok” is described as those having higher knowledge and skills. One may be considered a “warok” when he is able of teaching or giving knowledge/skills on living a good life to others.

 “Warok iku wong kang wus purna saka sakabehing laku, lan wus menep ing rasa”; meaning that “warok” is someone who has achieved perfection and depth in life (mostly in spiritual term).

Warok

Warok

Warok

Warok

Bujang Anom/Bujang Ganong (Ganongan)/Patih Pujangga Anom—tokoh enerjik, kocak sekaligus mempunyai keahlian dalam seni bela diri. Dalam pementasan Reog, tokoh Bujang Anom ini memiliki daya tarik tersendiri, terutama bagi penonton yang masih anak-anak.

Bujang Anom  menggambarkan sosok seorang Patih Muda yang cekatan, berkemauan keras, cerdik, jenaka, dan sakti.

Bujang Anom/Bujang Ganong (Ganongan)/Patih Pujangga Anom—Klana Sewandana’s front men. Bujang Ganong is described as an energetic, hilarious character who also has outstanding skill in martial art.

During the performance, Bujang Anom becomes a special attraction besides the Barongan/Dadak Merak.

Bujang Anom represents a young front man who is brilliant, strong-willed, funny, and powerful.

Bujang Anom

Bujang Anom

Bujang Anom

Klana Sewandana (Kelono Sewandono)—raja Ponorogo yang sakti mandraguna. Ia memiliki pusaka andalan berupa cemeti bernama Kyai Pecut Samandiman.

Klana Sewandana (Kelono Sewandono)—the king of Ponorogo. He had a powerful whip as his weapon, known as Kyai Pecut Samandiman.

Klana Sewandana

Klana Sewandana

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