BANYUWANGI – The Gandrung Sewu Festival was once again successful in attracting the admiration of thousands of tourists.
Held on Boom Beach, which is set against the backdrop of the Bali Strait, Saturday (16/9), this colossal performance featuring 1,200 dancers and 150 supporting talents amazed thousands of domestic and foreign tourists.
This world-class artistic attraction is made even more perfect by the actions displayed by Indonesian Air Force troops who maneuver in the air in a charming way.
With the theme “Omprog: The Glory of Art”, the Gandrung Sewu Festival is appreciated as a national tourism icon.
“The Gandrung Sewu Festival deserves to be an icon of Indonesian art,” said the Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, who gave a speech virtually.
Meanwhile, East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa said that the festival had become a door to introduce local culture to the global public.
“This will open the door to how Banyuwangi culture can appear on international stages,” said Khofifah.
The Gandrung Sewu Festival has been held regularly in Banyuwangi since 2012. This year, the theme is “Omprog” aka the crown of the gandrung dancer.
“Omprog is a strong icon, which will make gandrung dance even more global,” said Banyuwangi Regent Ipuk Fiestiandani.
Also present were Minister of State Apparatus Empowerment and Bureaucratic Reform Abdullah Azwar Anas, Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Air Force Marshal Fadjar Prasetyo, Norwegian Ambassador to Indonesia Rut Kruger Giverin, and representatives of various ministries and regional governments throughout Indonesia.
“Special thanks to the Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Air Force and his extraordinary staff. The air attractions displayed show the reliability of the Indonesian Air Force as the protective wing of the Motherland, Swa Bhuwana Paksa,” continued Ipuk.
Ipuk explained that the Gandrung Sewu Festival is not just a matter of performance. But it is also a consolidation of culture.
She recalled how difficult it was to find a thousand infatuated dancers when this event was first held.
This is different from now, when thousands of young people enthusiastically take part in the selection in each sub-district so they can appear.
“Gandrung Sewu is also part of cultural consolidation, about how dancing can become a source of pride for young people. They help preserve art and culture,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Blambangan Arts Council, Hasan Basri, explained that the omprog or crown on a gandrung dancer is full of meaning.
Each part holds a certain symbol. There are pilisan, bathukan, ombyok, kether, nanasan, and gatotkaca with dragon bodies.
“These parts imply the meaning of life which is always dynamic. Life must always lead to goodness,” he explained.
This year’s Gandrung Sewu Festival was also enlivened by attractions from Indonesian Air Force troops in the Semarak Dirgantara series. This attraction displays various aerial stunts by Indonesian Air Force soldiers.
There was an appearance by 15 flag bearer parachutists, Flypast 4 EMB-314 Super Tucano fighter planes, and Flypast 3 T-50i golden eagle fighter planes. This added to the excitement of the festival which was first held in 2012.