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Traditional masked dance groups enliven Surakarta festival

Ganug Nugroho Adi

The Jakarta Post

Surakarta, Central Java  /  Tue, October 10, 2017  /  10:02 am
Traditional masked dance groups enliven Surakarta festival

A 'reog' group performs a popular dance that originated from Ponorogo, East Java, during the Singo Barong Splendor Festival at Fort Vastenburg in Surakarta, Central Java, on Oct. 7. (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)

Thirty reog (traditional masked dance) groups from across Java performed during the two-day Singo Barong Splendor Festival that kicked off on Friday morning.

Held in the front yard of Fort Vastenburg in Surakarta, Central Java, hundreds of spectators watched reog groups, featuring warok (reog dancers), perform their famous dances. Legend has it that the gallant warok are the incarnation of King Klana Sewandana's guards in the story of Panji.

In addition to warok, the event also featured bujang ganong (masked dancers), jathil (horsemen) and kuda lumping (horse dance) performers. 

Read also: Reog Tengger: Mount Bromo's must-see attraction

The fifth installment of the annual festival was joined by participants from, among other regions, Malang, Ponorogo, Sukoharjo, Surakarta, Wonogiri and Yogyakarta.

Surakarta Mayor FX Hadi "Rudy" Rudyatmo said during the opening of the festival that although reog originated from Ponorogo in East Java, it was preserved and flourished across Surakarta, especially in its hamlets and villages.

The city currently has five Singo Barong groups that regularly perform in cultural shows, namely Singo Macan Mudo, Suro Bakti, Bhirowo, Mardhiko, Singo Yudho and Singo Rodha Kosti. (kes)