The long history of tor-tor dance

Helloindonesia.id – The abundance of Indonesian culture can be seen from the diverse forms of performances, dances, musical instruments, and clothing. It is not easy to create it because it must devote the mind and effort of the people of a region. Naturally, if then there was a long debate when the Tor-tor and Gordang Sembilan (Gondang Sembilan) dance from Mandailing, North Sumatra, was declared to be copyrighted by Malaysia.

Tor tor dance
Tor tor dance

According to Togarma Naibaho, founder of the Batak Gorga cultural studio, the word “Tor-tor” comes from the sound of the dancers‘ footsteps on the traditional Batak board house. Dancers move to the accompaniment of Gondang which is also rhythmic jerking. The message of the ritual, according to Togarma, there are three main parts. The first part symbolizes fear and obedience to God, before the dance begins there must be music offerings to the Almighty.

After that the ritual message for ancestors and people still lives respected. Finally, a message to the general public who attended the ceremony. Then proceed to what theme in the ceremony.

The duration of Tor-tor Dance varies, from three to ten minutes. In Batak land, this depends on the request of one group that wants to convey one thing to another group. A musician is asked for a song. If the intent has been conveyed, then the dance is stopped.

This dance finally transformed in the capital because it began to be performed at wedding ceremonies. When you arrive at this ceremony, the form is no longer ritual but entertainment. Because it became a spectacle and not all of those present were involved in the dance.

There are no books that describe the historical record of the Tor-tor and Gondang Sembilan dance. However, added by Professor of Dance at the University of Indonesia Edi Sedyawati, there has been a recording of travel results in the colonial era describing Tor-tor Dance.

However, just like culture in this world, the Tor-Tor Dance also experienced outside influences, namely India. Even if traced further its influence can be recorded as far as Babylon.

Tor-tor dance is always performed with Gondang Sembilan music. Mandailing residents usually call it Gordang Sembilan, according to the number of drums that are beaten.

The number of drums is the highest in the Samosir Batak area. There are only eight drum in other areas such as the Batak Pakpak, seven Simalungun Batak, six Toba, and in the Karo Batak there are only two drums left.

According to Togarma’s analysis, the large number of drums has to do with the influence of Islam in Mandailing. Where the drum is almost the same size as the drum in the mosque. This drum also has another characteristic which is the singer called Maronang Onang.

The chanter is usually from men who are humming verses about someone’s history, prayers, and blessings. Unfortunately the cultural beauty of the Tor-tor and Gondang Sembilan dance is tarnished by the lack of appreciation. It is difficult to find parties who want to finance this cultural performance, especially in the Capital City. Only because these Batak, Toro-Tor and Gondang dance fighters are still growing and appearing.

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