The traditional Gandrung dance is the pride of Banyuwangi. It is one of the authentic art born in the city of East Java. Dances are well maintained and celebrated in an annual tourism event Infatuated Sewu Festival. As indicated in its name, Sewu which means “thousand”, the event involves thousands of dancers.
Infatuated Sewu Festival was first held in 2012. The festival is to steal the attention of people across the country because the concept is unique. The first festival only has 1000 dancers. This is much less than the number of 1300 today. But it is the first event in Indonesia, which has so many dancers.
As a result, the Indonesian Record Museum noted these achievements and give the city an award. For eight years, the Festival has proven successful gandrung Sewu. Many visitors come from all over the country and abroad.
This is also because Gandrung Sewu is performed in an exotic location. A waterfront spot overlooking the views of the Bali Strait and mountains. No wonder many people consider it magical.
One Dance to Impress the World
A few months before the event. The committee held auditions across the city to prospective dancers. Many people sign up because it is a privilege to be involved. This audition welcomes both professionals and amateurs. There are no age restrictions. The youngest dancer in 2018 is a 4 year old little girl.
After weeks of training, the dancers are ready. Taking place at the Marina Beach Boom, gray sand on the beach is their stage. At the back, a stretch of the Strait of Bali is the background, as well as the island and the volcano. The sun above the flash function as natural.
Dancers came to the sandy stage with a fraction of a fraction. Initially dozens entrance. A traditional gamelan orchestra accompanied them. After doing some choreography for a few minutes, dozens of other dancers enter. The procession continued until all the dancers onto the stage. Now all that remains is to watch the presentation of what is in this festival.
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