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YOGYAKARTA > KRATON > Uyon Uyon Dance Performance
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Uyon Uyon dance performances are held at Bangsal Srimanganti near the main entrance of the Sultan's Palace. For schedule of the dance performance or practice, please click here.


There are two main features of an uyon uyon dance performance - the gamelan music and the dancers. These two components go side by side to create a harmonious balance for a fairly exquisite and enjoyable traditional show that pretty much sums up the culturally enriching Javanese arts.

Most of us, if not all, have heard of gamelan before, what more with the proliferation of Balinese culture that is known the world over. There is little to differentiate between a heartland Javanese gamelan with the Balinese one. In fact, apart from the islands of Bali and Java, gamelan is also the musical culture in Madura and Lombok.

Gamelan is an indigenous Indonesian orchestra, so-to-speak. It very much differs from what we are used to with Western orchestra of colossal music halls, tens of air and string instruments and a conductor. Gamelan is a more laid-back musical ensemble consists of gongs and metal slabs. The resulting concoction of music may be an acquired taste to some.

The uyon uyon dance that I watched, according to the presenter, was presented by woman dancers who originate from outside the royal district of Yogyakarta. The show started at around 1100 hrs and only ended close to 1300 hrs.

The dance performance started with a lone woman coming out on stage. The gamelan music came into play, along with undecipherable singing done by the voice ensemble. Her movement may look trivial to the naked eyes, but if you look closely, you will notice that it does require profound concentration and delicate ankle movement. It is like saying "Kids, don't try this at home." The movement is indeed very slow. The aim of the dance is to be subtly sensual. Part of the culture is to get audience to be psychologically halfway between awake and asleep.

After the solo dance performance, a group of four dancers came on stage.

Recommended. A combo of royal-grade gamelan show with a traditional dance is probably something you should not miss.

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