Soerya Soemirat GPH. Herwasto Kusumo Mangkunegaran Royal Palace, or better known as Soerya Soemirat Dance Workshop, was established by GPH. Herwasto Kusumo in 1982. Under the management of the Mangkunegaran Royal Palace in Surakarta, this community was first formed to induce the production of dancers exclusively for royal ceremonies known as langen projo; yet it has expanded over time to serve the need for preserving and widening the artistry of royal dance and karawitan/gamelan (traditional Javanese music) and handing them down to the younger generations. The dance workshop has grown far to teach more than 500 apprentices today.
For more than three decades, Soeryo Soemirat has performed in numerous prestigious stages in both local and national festivals and competitions, such as representing Central Java in the National Dance Parade 2007 at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah Jakarta and Best Dance Scheme winner in the National Child Dolanan Festival 2012 Surabaya; to international performances in Morocco (2005), France (2006), Singapore (2011), and Austria (2013). Their longtime cooperation with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also made them the annual host for foreign students who came to learn traditional culture through the Indonesian Art and Cultural Scholarship Program.
About the show
Soeryo Soemirat will be performing three pieces of dance:
1. Srimpi Muncar Dance
Invented by KGPAA Mangkunegara VII, Srimpi Muncar derives its moves from the tale of two women from different backgrounds: Javanese Princess Kelasworo and Chinese-descent Princess Adaninggar. The two of them happened to fall in love with the same man, Wong Agung Menak. The 25-minute dance embodies the conflict that follows in various moves and progresses, with Princess Kelasworo winning the man’s love in the end of the performance. This dance number is performed by four graceful female dancers.
2. Kelono Dance
The Kelono dance tells the story about a King in Bantar Angin region, who bears immense strength, wealth, and assertiveness; but wrecked many times by his coarse manner. Apart from sketching caricatures from many faces of the King, aptly named Kelono Sewandono, this dance also thoughtfully interprets the condition when he once experienced affection (gandrung). A single male dancer shifting between his soft and heroic side presents the performance of Kelono dance in a total duration of 15 minutes.
3. Bambangan Cakil Dance
Along with the beats of gamelan, this dance adopted the epic Perang Kembang—the Blossom War—from Javanese wayang kulit shows, which tells the battle between one knight and a mythical giant. A total of two dancers deliver this Bambangan Cakil story in a 25-minute show. The Knight (Bambangan) was a character of gentleness and justice, while the Giant (Cakil) was ferocious and full of rage. The whole dance progresses to a conclusion that every form of evil and wrath will come to a loss under the hands of the righteous.