Wednesday, June 6, 2007



You need to google search "REYOG" to get more details of this masked folk dance found in East Jawa (Jawa Timur). There is a distinct similarity with Johore's Kuda Kepang folklore, at least in the use of the kuda kepang by the dancers.

From my quick and short reading, this folklore dance is a mix of Bali and Javanese culture. The centrepiece of the dance must be the Singa Barong - a mythical half-man and half-animal figure. It has a tiger's head and surrounded by peacock feathers.

The Singa Barong is the devil to be captured and though I didn't witness the whole dance, I believe the dance climaxed with the capture of this Singa-Barong!

I was pretty fascinated with the traditional musical instruments of flute, gong, gendang and cymbals, reminding me of the Silat in Kelantan.

The girls on their kuda kepang would have gone through many practise sessions as they danced and swayed with the classical and enchanting sound of the serunai and the ensembles of gongs and gendangs. I was lucky to have the benefit of this performance across the road of the hotel where I stayed.

The warriors equally performed a great show, "fighting" each other in pairs.

At close-up, they do look menacing!

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