Home Banyuwangi Cultural Performances
The government of Banyuwangi gives special attention to the art of Gandrung. The purpose of this is to encourage the spirit of local ethnicity that will in turn increase the development of tourism. For this reason, Gandrung was determined to be the mascot of tourism in Banyuwangi according to the Banyuwangi Regency Decision, Number 173 in 2002.
The word "Gandrung" comes from the Javanese word that means "desperately in love". It means that they are in love with the goddess of the rice paddy, Dewi Sri, that brings prosperity to the people of Banyuwangi who are mostly employed as farmers. In gratitude for the good harvest, the people organize a performance which is called "Gandrung" because the farmers were in love with the goddess of the rice paddy.
The Gandrung performance used to be performed at night, running from 09 PM until 04 AM. This traditional art is performed during the day as well to especially welcome distinguished guests.
Seblang Oleh Sari
Seblang is a village ceremony to ward off misfortune which is called seblang. The Seblang Olehsari is performed for seven days. A virgin girl dances in a trance during the performances. She dances while 28 songs are sung by several sindens, the singers in the performance.
The purpose of this performance is the same as the Seblang Olehsari. However, the performance is shorter; Seblang Bakungan is performed for only one night. It is organized after one night of Idul Adha (an Islamic holiday). Seblang Bakungan is performed after the evening prayer. The people parade around the village carrying torches. An old woman dances in the Seblang Bakungan in front of Sanggar (a small stage used as a place for some seeds). After being put into a trance, the dancer is possessed by the Seblang spirit. She dances while following the tone of the music and the songs. There are 12 songs in the performance. The songs tell about the rebellion against the Dutch colonialists. The performance finishes in the middle of the night after the performance of "Adol Kembang" (selling flowers). The spectators, then, snatch away the seeds, plants and wind mill on the stage which is called "sanggar".
Patrol Traditional Performance
Patrol is the typical ethnic music of Banyuwangi where all the musical instruments are made of Bamboo. They are katir, gong kemput, angklung renteng, kethuk, kendhang and flute. This composition is a culture activity of the native Banyuwanginese. The patrolis is performed during a night of the fasting month (Ramadhan:based on the calendar of Islam). The main purpose of the performance is to guard the village and wake the people up to eat sahur. The songs are taken from the Kitab Berjanji and are traditional songs of Banyuwangi. Groups from all of the villages in Banyuwangi participat in the festival of Patrol Music. A musical group is comprise of 15 persons.
Praburoro Art Performance
The word of Praburoro comes from the character of this performance whose name is Roro Rengganis. Praburoro is a type of dramatic dance. The stories that are performed come from the Panji, or the tale of Amir Hamzah, which is influenced by Islamic Persian stories. There are about 40 - 50 people who are involved in this performance. The players are divided into 3 groups.
The musical instrument is the gamelan of Java with slendro tone (a typical Javanese gamelan tone). Praburoro is a very unique presentation. First of all, the dance is a Javanese dance. The costumes are modeled after the wayang (puppet) orang performance. The musical instrument is the Javanese gamelan. The songs are also Javanese. However, the songs can be the songs of the Banyuwanginese; such as Padang Ulan, Waru Doyong, Kembang Waru, etc. The story is about the conquest of a non-moslem country. The performance ends with the scene of the King that has been conquered by Menak Agung Jayengrono and Umarmoyo.
Damarwulan Art Performance
The word of Damarwulan comes from the name of a character in this performance. The dramatic group is comprised of 40 - 50 persons and is divided into 4 groups. The Damarwulan Traditional Performance is similiar with Janger from Bali. The only difference is in the language used in the dialogue. In the Janger Bali uses Balinese language, while Damarwulan Traditional Performance uses Javanese. The story of Damarwulan tells about the era of Majapahit and Blambangan, which is well known in Banyuwangi. The dialogue is in song. The story-telling is done by a narrator who is called "dalang". The "dalang" descrbies every scene before the event occurs. The stage performance usually starts at 09 PM and finishes at 04 AM.
Barong Art Performance
The word Barong has several meanings. In the Sanskrit language barong means bear, derived from the word "B(h)arwang". Baron can also refer to the roots that live near a bamboo cluster or a performance imitating a wild animal. Evidenced from the meanings above, the last meaning is closer to the meaning of the Barong Traditional Performance. There are many Barongsin Blambangan of Banyuwangi; for instance, Barong Prejeng, Barong Osing or Barong Blambangan. The main character of this performance is a big giant head, with open wide eyes and two tusks protruding from his mouth. Barong is a traditional performance. The story is taken from a folk tale. The most famous story is taken from Barong Jakrifah that tells about the struggle of the villagers to open a new area in the jungle and they have to face evil spirit of the jungle. The performance is usually begins in the night and finishes at dawn. The message to take care of the forest is always given in every performance.
Gedhogan used to be performed as entertainment after doing a traditional rice paddy peeling in preparation for a wedding or a circumcision celebration. The sound of music is made from the tools that they use to peel the rice, like the alu, lesung and lumpang. Those tools sounded good and have a special tone. They were singing while playing the musical instruments.
At this time, the musical instruments used are supplemented with two chunks of iron called a kempul and a gendang, which is a kind of drum.
The Kuntulan Performance
The Kuntulan performance is often called Terbang Kuntul. This traditional music performance is similiar to Bordah, but the number of the musical instruments is more complete, including the kendang, jedor, gong and organ. The name of Kuntulan is taken from the fact that the dancers wear white clothes like the kuntul (type of bird). Initially this music only used rebana and jidor as the music instruments. As this music developed, the kendang and gong were added. This creation is called kundaran.
Mocoan Pacul Art Performance
The word mocoan comes from the Javanese word that means "to read". The connotation of the word pacul is "mocking. There are 7 to 8 players in one group in this Mocoan Pacul Goang Performance. Kendang, violin, gong and kluncing are the main musical instruments. The players read and sing using a version of the songs of mocopat like kasmaran, arum-arum, derma, pangkur, sinom etc. using the Blambangan style. The readings are taken from the lontar of Yusuf. The Paculan or mocking activity is usually funny. The paculan uses aphorism, pantun (a kind of poetry) or a joke. To start the paculan, the spectators usually say, "Paculan wis" (let's paculan) in order that the players begin mocking one other. The Mocoan Pacul Goang traditional Performance is also called Aljin art, because the art was lead by a man named Aljin.