Tag Archives: music education

Part 2 Javanese Dance

Following on from the previous post part 1

Like singing in a choir or playing in an ensemble, dancing with others in unison as a synchronised group, brings great pleasure. Clearly from the images below this is what the students were experiencing under the graceful guidance of Nita Hall from Asia Raya. The level of engagement was extremely high and Bell’s grade 3/4 students demonstrated excellent choreography skills whilst following Nita’s moves.

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One of the dances that the students learnt wasn’t originally from Java but from the island of Sumatra. This was called the plate dance. As the students entered the room there were pairs of small yellow and orange plates laid out on the floor. Yellow for boys and orange for girls. When the students got dressed up in the colourful costumes they looked amazing. The red horns of the headdress that the girls wore represented the buffalo commonly found on the island of Sumatra. Both boys and girls had to wear traditional Javanese sarongs with the girls wearing beautiful pink tops and red scarves. The boys accompanied the girls with bright blue shirts and black scarves to match their headdress. How amazing do they look?

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Fact: Did you know that when this dance is performed back in Indonesia that the dancers actually dance on broken plates. Nita says that this requires great skill so as to not cut their feet on the shards of broken plate. 

Watch some of the grade 3/4 students perform the Plate Dance.


The other dance that the students learnt was a penguin dance. Again after some practice, the students were able to follow Nita’s moves and their costumes were also wonderfully ornate and colourful.

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