Monday, March 23, 2009

Saman dance

Saman dance is a dance that originated from Aceh, Sumatra and is well-known as 'Thousand hands'. 'Saman' name was taken from the person who created and developed this dance, Syeikh Saman, was one of the Muslim scholars who spread the Islam religion in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, Sumatra, Indonesia. It was originally performed by the Alas ethnic group to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad and also other important occasions, such as to welcome guests. Nowadays, the dance is usually performed at festivals and other traditional gatherings, and also to promote the beautiful culture of Indonesia.

Performers wear brightly coloured costumes, kneel in a row and make many different kinds of torso movements, accompanied by songs, clapping hands, etc. No music is required as the performers recite poems and songs while doing the dance performance, led by a lead singer called the 'syech'. The songs are usually prayers and praises to Allah. The dance starts with slow movements and the tempo of the dance increases gradually, becoming faster and faster before coming to a sudden stop.

clapping hands (:

The dance requires a lot of hand-eye coordination and chemistry between performers. The saman dance group led by Ibu Yenti and Ibu Lucy, had practices once a week for a month to master this dance. They started with saman dance basics, which included the different torso movements before proceeding to learn more about the dance.

coordination required (:

No comments:

Post a Comment