History of the Origins of Plate Dance

General / 13 October 2019

ejarah The Origins of Plate Dance and Its Development - Plate dance is one of Indonesia's unique dances that is very unique because when dancing it dancers will carry plates in both hands. Although very well known, but unfortunately not many of us know the history of the origin of plate dance. This is very unfortunate especially because Piriang dance is a traditional art from Minangkabau which must be maintained.

Beginning of the creation of the dance using the plate
In ancient times when the Minang people still worshiped the gods, they believed that the god had given the people abundant harvests and protected them from danger. That's why the dancing girls will give their harvest to the god placed on a plate. They will wear beautiful traditional clothes and behave gently to face the gods. The offerings are brought before the god while dancing with a twist of a plate to show their abilities. This is the beginning of the creation of a dance that was allegedly performed since 800 years ago.

This dance even continued to develop during the reign of Srivijaya, which made it very well known throughout the West Sumatra region. But after the kingdom was surrendered by the Majapahit Kingdom in the 16th century, some dancers also moved to Malay as refugees from Sriwijaya. They arrived in Malaysia and Brunei Darusalam which have a different cultural background from the culture in Minang, that's why the plate dances in the area then changed because they had to follow the customs of Malay so that the history of the origin of the plate dance in the Malay region.

In Minang itself there was a very drastic change in the plate dance. Especially after there is an Islamic religion that is carried by the Kingdom of Majapahit making offerings to gods are no longer needed. Furthermore, plate dance has become a dance dedicated to the king and important officials as entertainment at special events in the kingdom.
But because this dance is increasingly popular among the Minang people, the people also do the same dance at folk events. With its development as a dance offering to entertain the king and guests, this dance is also used as an offering in weddings where a pair of brides is considered a king and queen a day.

Characteristic of plate dance
As we know, the plate was originally used to bring offerings to the gods, so in ancient times there would be a lot of food placed on plates brought by dancers. However, because offerings are no longer allowed, then the plates will not be filled with anything, but there are also several versions of the plate dance that add lighted candles attached to the surface of the plates to make the dance more interesting.

In accordance with the history of the origin of the dance, this dance plate can only be danced if the number of dancers in odd numbers starts from one, three, seven, or nine. Usually the dance itself is danced for about ten minutes to a maximum of fifteen minutes because in it there are also rituals of worship to the king or bride and groom performed before or after the dance ends.

Dancers must wear beautiful clothes especially in bright red and gold patterns that are believed to be the colors of luck and wealth. For the music, this plate dance must initially be accompanied by using traditional tambourines and gongs. But along with its development which demands that the music played should be more interesting, Saluang, a musical instrument made of bamboo, drums and Talempong, which is a brass instrument, is used to increase its dynamics.

The ordering of plate dance is part of the history of the origin of plate dance
The dance will start after the musician hits the gong to give a sign, then the dancer will enter the arena by giving worship to the king or bride three times as a mark of their respect.

Furthermore, the dance starts by twisting plates to the right and left in accordance with the beat of music in a dynamic movement that is fast, but the plates still can not be separated from the grip. If the plate is released, the dancer will receive tremendous shame, especially from the indigenous people of Minang Sendirin.

There are dance movements that take from traditional silat movements from Minangkabau, especially for dances performed by men. The plates carried are also crushed with each other to make a beautiful clink, but sometimes the dancer also wears rings on both middle fingers to produce the clang.

There are dishes on the floor that have been specially arranged that lead to the bride and groom. The dancer then steps on the plate carefully so that nothing is missed. After getting to the end of the arrangement in front of the bride, then the dancer will move backward with the constant step of stepping on the plate arrangement earlier, but the dancer may never show her back to the bride. After the dancers managed to return to their original position by following the arrangement of the plates they returned to the closing ceremony of the bride three times.

In a more extreme plate dance the plate will be thrown to the floor to be broken and the dance continues with the dancer dancing on the broken plate earlier. But miraculously the dancers continued to dance without feeling pain or injury due to the broken plates they had stepped on earlier. This later became one of the uniqueness that made the history of the origin of plate dance increasingly famous.

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