Central Java Governor Bibit Waluyo, who was recently criticized for saying that Jathilan (the bamboo horse dance) is the worst form of art, plans to arrange for a group of “quality” Jathilan dancers to perform, to show the world how the best Jathilan is performed.
Bibit plans to present the Jathilan performance during the official launch of the Gedung Pramuka in Semarang, Central Java, next month.
“I will present high quality Jathilan show to all of you. If it's proven to be good, I will ask the audience to clap their hands for one full hour to acknowledge the quality of the performance,” Bibit said Wednesday.
Bibit shocked many when he said that the Jathilan dance was the world’s worst art form during his speech at the “14th Merapi and Borobudur Senior's Amateur Golf Tournament” in Magelang, Central Java, on Monday, Sept. 10.
The remark was made shortly after the Kartika Harapan dance group from Rejowinangun, Magelang, performed the dance, which is also known as Jaran Kepang.
Attendees went silent after hearing the jaw-dropping comment.
Bibit’s remark sparked criticism, including a request from Jathilan artists in Central Java for an apology. Bibit denied referring to Jathilan as the most terrible art form – saying that all he said was “terrible” was the performance of the group, not the dance itself.
In an attempt to show the world how the best Jathilan is performed, Bibit requested that the province's Tourism and Culture Agency find him the best Jathilan dancers.
“[I will] Show the best group to the people, the ones who can perform the dance seriously,” he said.(fzm/lfr)