Reog Ponorogo Dance Amazes Thai People

Reog Ponorogo performed by Brawijaya University students

Reog Ponorogo performed stunningly in front of the diplomatic corps and Thai people at the Indonesian Cultural Night 2023 held by the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok at Pic Ganesha Theater Siam Square One Bangkok, 17 September 2023. With a duration of approximately 12 minutes performance, the audience filled the 1200 capacity building. The sitting closely follows the story entitled Hastabarata performed by the Brawijaya University dance team.

Taking the Hastabrata theme, Reog Ponorogo dance this time tells the concept of policy and leadership wisdom in Javanese culture, especially East Java. Reog Ponorogo’s performance at the Indonesian cultural evening felt very special because it was accompanied by live musical accompaniment, with instruments brought directly from Indonesia.

Appearing as the closing event for the Indonesian cultural evening, Reog Ponorogo truly amazed the audience present that evening consisting of various groups such as the diplomatic corps, business people, academics, art lovers, journalists and art students in Thailand as well as art-loving students from various universities in Thailand. The movements of Warok dancers are very strong with their bravery combined with the agility and cheerfulness of Jathil dancers, making the stage atmosphere very lively.

In adiition, the presence of Bujang Ganong accompanied by Kelana Sewandana who fought many times against Dadak Merak has given a magical feel. The fight was finally won by Bujang Ganong, assisted by Kelana Sewandana, giving rise to the moral message that good always wins over evil.

Reog Ponorogo’s performance this time felt very special because it was supported by good lighting by sparkling spotlights and stage lights which supported the atmosphere of each round of the movement. Furthermore, the smoke billowing during the fight between Bujang Ganong supported by Kelana Sewandana and Dadak Merak created a mystical atmosphere that also surrounded the stage. It’s not wrong if the audience’s admiration can be seen from every corner of the performance theater room, and with very loud applause at the end of Reog Ponorogo performance.

“We want to bring the typical East Javanese dance to the heart of Thailand, Bangkok to its full potential so that Thai people will get to know East Javanese culture more closely. “Reog Ponorogo was born when the Majapahit Kingdom expanded its power in the archipelago and will continue to be preserved for the next generations of young people in Indonesia, especially the young generation in East Java.” That is what conveyed by Dr. Tri Wahyu Nugroho as Secretary of Brawijaya University.

The Education and Cultural Attaché of the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok, Achmad Wicaksono, said that Brawijaya University had won first place at Reog Ponorogo national level several times, including the last one held in July 2023. The Indonesia Culture Night 2023 event is indeed trying to show the diversity of Indonesian culture, one of which is Reog Poronogo which has never been performed in Thailand. With this performance, it is hoped that relations between Indonesia and Thailand will increase the exchange of cultural performances.

This Indonesian cultural evening activity itself is part of the Trade, Tourism, Investment and Cultural Forum promotion carried out by the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok in an integrated and continuous manner in an effort to strengthen cooperation in various fields with Thailand. The many cultural similarities between Indonesia and Thailand have become the main foundation for strengthening good cooperation in various fields between the two countries.[Vicky/ UB PR/ Trans. Iir]