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Abuang Dance: the Hallmark of Tenganan New Year  

by on Friday, 15 February 2008No Comment | 1,372 views

This month, the people of Tenganan celebrated their new year with the sacred Usaba Kasa ceremony – Usaba Kasa is a series ceremony that celebrated the first month of Tenganan year. This year, the final day of Usaba Kasa ceremony was celebrated on 2/12/08 with sacred abuang dance of Tenganan’s boys and girls.

The sacred abuang dance began around 10 AM but the preparation of the ceremony that involved cooking and preparing the stage and musical instruments started around 7 AM. Around 9 AM, Tenganan children arrived in the venue of the ceremony with their finest geringsing cloths and beautiful gold jewelries. Around 10 AM the Tenganan’s girls arrived, their geringsing cloths and gold jewelries surpassed the beauty of their junior cloth and jewelries. After the girls took their place in the venue of the ceremony, the sacred Abuang dance was begun.

Accompanied by the melodious Selonding orchestra, the Tenganan’s children were the first to step up to dance the sacred Abuang. The Abuang dance was danced by three dancers in each session that last around four or five minutes; though a little bit nervous the children danced elegantly in their own way. After all the children had their turn, the Tenganan’s girls took the stage and audiences attention as soon as they began their dance. They danced the Abuang dance with great ease and elegance.

Around 11 AM, after all the girls had their turn, the Tenganan’s boys arrived on the venue of the ceremony and took their place on the opposite side of the girls’ place. Once again, the sweet selonding orchestra played, three girls stepped up to the front and dance, in response, one or two boys came forward to dance with the girls. Some of the boys were nervous and shy so the elder of Tenganan community had to drag them to dance in front of the girls. Each session of the duet between the boys and girls last around three or four minutes; they danced facing each other with some space between so the boys would not touch the girls, if the boy touch the girls intentionally or not he will be fined by the community. The selonding orchestra played on and on until all the boys and girls had their turn. The dance was over when all boys and girls had performed the Abuang dance.

According to Mangku Widya, the boys and girls who dance the Abuang dance are a symbol of a new beginning, the mark of a new year since the boys and girls are the seeds that will grow and form the next generation.

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