“Kuda Renggong” Rocks the Parade

“Kuda renggong” is a cultural performance comes from a town named Sumedang, located in West Java, Indonesia. According to its etiology, “kuda renggong” means “dance horse”, literally. But you can’t consider the dance as modern or pop dance (of course it’s not. :P). The dance performed usually a traditional dance which is built by traditional instruments like “kendang”, “gong”, “suling” and “bajidor”. (More about these instruments.) The song played here is a traditional song especially sang in bahasa Sunda, sometimes in dangdut. Although it’s told that the horse dance, the horse isn’t really dance, it’s just nod its head and legs repeatedly, which is, unique to watch and it’s need more than a tamer to train it.

While it’s dancing, the horse was accessorized by several kind of cloth. This cloth usually applied with sharp colors such as bold red, bold green or gold. Performing in a circumcision traditional party, especially around the Sumedang area, this attraction usually held like a parade. The horse will be dancing in the front line - with its tamer, the kid who circumcised will be riding the horse (actually, he’ll just sit on the back without driving the horse because the horse still with its tamer), the instrumentalist will walk on the left and right with their instruments handed (it’s weight, I’m pretty sure), and peoples will follow them. They dance, too. This parade usually held in a round, forwarding from the kid’s house to another not too far place, and then they back again to the house to bring on another show.

Since they’ve arrived to the starting point (the kid’s house), after some rest, they go to a wide place to bring another performance on. Together they will perform some moves and attractions, as we can see in many circus shows. The horse will act as it was disturbed and fight with the tamer. The tamer pretend that he was crumpled so the audience will horrified – but it was just an act. The tamer then could lead the situation –after some dramatic struggle, and then everyone relieved, with applause given to the performer.
The exciting point of this performance is, you’ll be allowed to try to ride the horse (once again, you don’t really ride it, you just sit on its back) with a tamer controlling the horse, holding the bridle and make the horse dance. It’ll give you several rounds to go and the tamer will claim you the tip.

FYI, the big parade is also held at least once per year. In this big parade, you won’t just see one to three horses, but it’ll be many more of them. This event usually held on several dates. Especially on some of big days, such as the town’s anniversary. So if you happened to come to the town, I think you may probably wanna see the event yourself. It’ll be so exciting. :)

October 2 2010


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