The Love Story of Panji Asmorobangun and Dewi Sekartaji in Kethek Ogleng Dance in Kediri

In some regions in Java there are many cultures. Sometimes each of regions has similarities of culture including art. For example Kethek Ogleng art. This art is well known as a dance in some regions.

No one knows that actually Kethek Ogleng come from Kediri regency East Java province. The art and culture in Kediri regency cannot be separated from the existence of Kediri Kingdom. One of Kediri dances that famous is Kethek Ogleng dance. This traditional dance shows its dancers that wearing Hanoman (a white monkey) costume.

This dance is attractive because its characteristic is very dynamic. The movements of its dancers look funny and most of the dancers are men. On Asia-Africa Conference in Bandung some time ago, President Jokowi brought this dance to be shown.

After perfom successfuly at that big event, the dancers from Kediri got a chance to perform abroad. They were invited by Australia for 10 days. It was a good achievement and deserves to be proud of it.

Almost extinct

As an art, Kethek Ogleng must struggle to get its popularity in the middle of modern era. In that situation some people still care and want to preserve this art. One of them can be seen from Sanggar Guntur (Guntur Studio). This studio is led by a dance artist, Guntur Tri Kuncoro.

Kethek Ogleng has gotten its top of popularity on 1970. At that time this dance was always shown in an important event, culture event, weddings, until in a road show. But as time goes by this dance began to become extinct.

This dance describes the love story between Panji Asmorobangun and Dewi Sekartaji in the story of Panji. A monkey that described in this dance is an incarnation of Panji Asmorobangun.

He became an incarnation of white monkey that looked for a love. In its journey in the forest, Panji met with Endang Roro Setompe or Dewi Sekartaji.

Seeing her beauty, Panji felt in love directly. But his love was ignored with Dewi Sekartaji because his appearances is a monkey. Then Panji was left alone in the middle of forest.

This story was described in Kethek Ogleng dance. Dynamic movements with rhythmic music makes the appearances of its dancers are attractive to be seen. No wonder that there are many people who interested to see this dance.