More than 2,000 girls in Klaten, a city in Indonesia’s Central Java province, took to the streets recently as they participated in Gambyong Pareanom, a Javanese classical dance.
The girls ranged in age from elementary school to college. They danced in groups for about 10 minutes to traditional gamelan music, a legacy of Keraton Kasunanan Surakarta, once a great kingdom in Java.
“Klaten, located between two cultural cities (Yogyakarta and Solo), is supposed to preserve traditional culture. I hope through the colossal Gambyong dance, the students will love traditional dances more and more,” said Joko Wiyono, Klaten’s chief of tourism, culture, youth and sports.
Dancers began gathering three and a half hours early for the program that started at 8:30 a.m.
Suparti, an elementary school principal, said her students began their preparations even earlier – at 2 a.m., following 10 days of practice.
“We have no difficulty because we have a dance teacher in our school,” she said.
Gambyong, performed by large groups, consists of 11 movements requiring synchronized feet, hand and head movements.