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CHAPTER IX The character of the opening dances in Pulihrejo

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Chapter Summary

The opening dances of the different acts, like Pak Dhalang's standard repertoire, constituted some of the more formal parts of the performance. The dances comprised numerous figures, which were executed in perfect harmony with the music, with the intensity constantly being increased. In comparison with those other groups, Samboyo Putro's opening dances were exceptionally elaborate and carefully executed. This was to a large extent due to the fact that Samboyo Putro was regarded as the showpiece of the local police and was expected to turn out to give demonstrations at all kinds of events. Samboyo Putro's dance patterns and rhythms were particulary highly developed. What was especially striking about the latter was the sudden 'freezing' of movement whenever the dancers remained standing motionless for a moment, often with one leg raised high in the air. These moments lent the dance great intensity and added to the atmosphere of excitement.

Keywords: opening dances; Pak Dhalang; Samboyo Putro

10.1163/9789004253872_010
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