A student performance arts group from Universitas Gadjah Mada called Unit Kesenian Jawa Gaya Surakarta (UKJGS) UGM was on a mission to introduce the Javanese culture during a visit to Malaysia from April 15-16. The visit was also to respond to the invitation of Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP). In this visit, they had the opportunity to provide musical training for students of SMK Seri Iskandar, as well as participating in two activities organized by UTP, namely Ensemble of Gamelan (EOG) 2016 and the Festival of Colors of the World (FESCO).
Their participation in international events, such as EOG and FESCO, showed the existence of UKJGS UGM in the international arena. Previously, the students organization which focuses on the field of traditional arts of Java, especially Surakarta styles, in the form of dance, music, and puppetry, has participated in a variety of artistic activities and earned achievements in both the national and international level several times.
Ensemble of Gamelan (EOG) itself is an activity organized by Universiti Teknologi Petronas since 2007 to foster integration among nations through the art of gamelan as a cultural heritage. On this occasion, UKJGS presented a 10-minute repertoire entitled Lindur. Lindur tells about someone who was still asleep being awoken by the atmosphere of the morning and then demanded to return to her/his daily activity. The repertoire, created by coach, Joko Suwito, was also able to give a different feel to the audience, who mostly are citizens of Malaysia.
The team also brought some other traditional musical instruments commonly known as children’s toys, such as cuit-cuit, pethok-pethok, water bamboo, and othok-othok, as supporting instruments in their performances in the EOG 2016.
Javanese nuance was also presented in the Festival of Colors of the World 2016, an international dance competition where as many as 27 dance teams from different countries were participating. Located at the Chancellor Hall of Universiti Teknologi Petronas, the UGM team appeared as a special guest to present a dance called "Fragment Ramayana (Rama, Shinta, Kidang, and Cakil)" taken from an epic that was also carved in Prambanan Temple’s relief.
"This story was chosen for the event as a form of appreciation for the richness of Indonesian culture," one of team members, Fitri Febriyanto, said on Tuesday (26/4).
In this visit, the UGM team also provided musical training for students of the National Secondary School (SMK) Seri Iskandar in Perak Baru, Malaysia. This training was the second time they have given for this school after the first one held in March 27, 2015. The first visit was also the beginning of their cooperation in culture, particularly gamelan, manifested in the Jalinan Pengantarabangsaan Gamelan program.