(photo: AVEQ)

Beksan Serimpi Lagu Dhempel


Sri Paduk Susuhunan Paku Bhuwn VIII 


Gusti Raden Ayu Koes Moertiyah


Gending Lagu Dhempel


Musicians of the Kraton Surakarta Hadiningrat 

Music recording:

Original recording of the Kraton Surakarta Hadingrat


35 ' 


Central Java (Keraton Surakarta Hadiningrat) 


'Seri' means 'the sublime' and 'impi' means 'the vision'. Visions of an ideal world, similar to the god's paradise, are depicted by the serimpi-dancers in their srimpi-dance. The Serimpi is one of the highest forms of classical dance at the Keraton Surakarta Hadiningrat and the creation of a new Serimpi-dance is always attributed to the ruler.
The Serimpi-dance was therefore reserved exclusively for the daughters of the ruler. With a clear purity they embodied the dance.
In the Serimpi-dance a picture is painted of a world through dance movements and stuctures:
• The dance begins with balanced, static poses, symbolising a moment of rest.
• This serinity is disturbed by the constant movements and changing positions of the dancers, a situation comparable to the disharmony caused by the passions of the human world. In the dance this is sometimes represented by a struggle.
• The structure of the dance recovers, as humanity also comes to its senses.
These images are emphasized by the fact that the Serimpi is always danced by 4 similar dressed dancers, who dance in 2 couples.
The Serimpi-dances of the Keraton Surakarta Hadiningrat are characterized by e strong spritual connection with the goddess of the South Sea, Kanjeng Ratu Kidul. The royal family attributes its position to the personal protection from the goddess. The dances are a tribute to Kanjeng Ratu Kidul and the dancers open themselves spiritually to a confrontation with the 'Higher World'.

In one of the audiance halls of the Keraton Surakarta Hadiningrat, named Bangsal Semorokoto, the Serimpi Lagu Dhempel court dance was taught to Romanita Santoso by Raden Rr Eko Kadarsih under the guidance of Gusti Raden Ayu Koes Moertiyah, daughter of the reigning sovereign Sri Paduk Susuhunan Paku Bhuwn XII of Surakarta and chairman of the Yayasan Pawiyatan Kabudayaan Karaton Surakarta (Foundation Cultural Education Karaton Surakarta). It is the Keraton Surakarta Hadingrat's own shortened version of the original dance of approximately 60 minutes.
This Serimpi Lagu Dhempel is attributed to the sovereign Sri Paduk Susuhunan Paku Bhuwn VIII (1858-1861).
It depicts an episode of the Ramayana, in which the sovereign Rmwijy gives wise advice to his younger brother about the way to become a good king.

The Wisma Ulah Budaya Foundation 1999

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