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Frog Dance  

by on Thursday, 6 December 2007No Comment | 3,279 views

Animals, their behaviors and movements are the source of inspiration for many Balinese choreographers to create new Balinese contemporary dances and one of the most successful contemporary dances that depict the behavior and movement of animal is the Godogan (frog) dance. This contemporary dance is the brainchild of dance maestro I Made Jimat, which was established in 1967. This dance depicts the movements and behavior of a frog, and reenacts a Balinese version of the familiar fairy tale about the princess who marries a frog.

The Story of the Godogan dance can be summed up as follow, a prince of Jenggala who was fond of catching dragonflies disappeared in a dense forest near an erupting volcano. A few years later a frog emerged which was believed to be the reincarnation of the lost prince. One day the prince-frog encountered a beautiful princess of Daha; he fell in love with her and wanted to marry her. Unable to fulfill this dream the frog committed itself to ascetic life, but by the blessing of the great God Wisnu, he was turned back into a handsome young man, the lost prince of Jenggala.

The Godogan dance is accompanied by a folk musical instrument called genggong whose sound is similar to Jew’s harp. The genggong creates a pleasant background music which quite similar with the sound produced by the frog.

I Made Jimat’s troupe use a frog mask to create the frog character with a green jumpsuit which serves as the frog costume. The movements of the frog dance are derived from the movements of Topeng (mask dance) and Baris (warrior dance), supplemented with realistic pantomime in the portrayal of the frog. The frog dance is danced by a small child; with his supple and energetic movement he translates the behavior and the movement of the frog into an excellent dance.

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