Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dance Performance at the Sultan's Palace

In the center of Jogjakarta is the Kraton, the Sultan's Palace, built in the 18th century as a series of halls, courtyards and pavilions. The Sultan of Yogyakarta -- currently Hamengkubuwono X, who was rumored to be a possible presidential candidate, although he is not -- still lives within the kraton. In my 2007 visit to this city, I was in the neighborhood too late in the day to go into the Kraton and so was only able to walk around it. This time, I joined approximately 7,000 school-aged children in a visit. Yikes!

After walking around the grounds for a while, I watched a good portion of a dance performance, featuring gamelan accompaniment.

Here is the gamelan before the performance began:

Then the gamelan in use:

First, I watched a dance featuring a single, male dancer:

Then a dance involving two female dancers:

If you do visit the Kraton as a Westerner, expect many schoolchildren to come up to you and say, "Hello, Mister! Can I take your picture?"

This group from Jogjakarta was one of several that I obliged:

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