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Reog Tengger: A Tenggerese Mystical Dance

Reog is a traditional Javanese Dancing from East Java that involves many elements such as graceful choreography, outstanding physical strength, as well as extravagant decorations and costumes.

The first part of Reog is the magical lion-like monster named Singa Barong. Singa Barong is a considerable mask made to resemble a tiger’s or leopard’s head, over whose head are lovers of extended peacock feathers. The Singa Barong mask is notoriously heavy where the dancer must be capable of transporting the 30 to 40 kg mask by the potency of the teeth only. For this reason, people believe that the individual competent in executing this accomplishment must surely possess supernatural skills and strength.

Sometimes, the Singa Barongan – Occasionally called baronial – may also carry a young man or girl to the lion’s head. Along with the burden of the person sitting on top of the lion’s mind, therefore, the Reog dancer must subsequently carry a weight of about 100 kilograms, and this just by the strength of his teeth. Holding this huge thick mask by biting it, he depends upon the power of the limbs, neck, and shoulder muscles. The width of the cover itself spans more than 2.5 meters, including the peacock feathers along with other colorful decorations.

A Reog performance generally includes three sets of dances while every dance is performed by numerous persons. The first is the opening dancing, presented by warok, male dancers wearing entirely black outfits symbolizing rough men wearing an intimidating mustache and other masculine attributes. The next is your Jaran Kepang dancing performed by Jatil that was initially performed by a gemblak, a handsome, teenaged boy wearing a colorful costume. Nowadays, female dancers usually play this job. While the next dance is the principal attraction of the show performed together with Reog dancers. The work as the star male celebrity conveys the big and bulky lion mask and dances on center stage while others dance around him.

The Reog dance portrays the narrative Of Klono Sewandono, king of Ponorogo who journeyed to Kediri to seek the hand of Princess Songgo Langit. On this journey, the king, along with his entourage and soldiers, had been attacked by a vicious monster called Singa Barong, a mythical lion with peacock feathers on the head. A great battle ensued which involved not just in physical fights but also using supernatural prowess.

The performance is then accompanied by vibrant songs of the traditional gamelan orchestra that comprise of the gendang, gong, saron, kenong, angklung, and other conventional instruments. But distinct from the original Reog Ponorogo, Reog Tengger also integrates modern musical instruments like the electric guitar and bass. These are innovations made by the Tenggerese, that not just include Traditional songs but also the modern ‘Campur Sari’ tunes which are very popular with the Tengger communities.


Keyword: Reog is a traditional Javanese Dancing