Helloindonesia.id – The people of Kutai Kertanegara Ing Martadipura have one traditional dance that is still preserved today, namely Jepen. This traditional art typical of the coast of the Mahakam River in the form of a dance that is rooted in the values of Malay philosophy and oriental customs is still widely found.
One of the dance creations inspired by the Jepen dance is the Jepen genjoh Mahakam dance. Most of the movements in this dance originate from the Jepen dance, for example the wave motion, the half samba, the samba penoh, the child swing, the kenyak walk, the mudik homecoming, and the tactical motion. In general, it can be said that the Jepen genjoh mahakam dance is a dynamic, attractive, and energetic dance, but still modest and represents Malay culture.
This modesty is also reflected in the make-up and clothing. The make-up of the women dancers of Jepen genjoh mahakam is generally made minimalist, without losing the elegance with a touch of Malay nuances that are polite and simple. Jepen genjoh mahakam dancers are also equipped with shawl sticks which make the performance of this creative dance even more enchanting.
From a musical perspective, the influence of contemporary musical instruments cannot be avoided. However, that does not mean completely eliminating the traditional Kutai music. Many Jepen creation dance groups that have sprung up in Kutai Kertanegara Regency still use traditional music called tingkilan music as music that accompanies the Jepen dance performance.
The tingkilan music comes from several sounds of traditional musical instruments from Kutai, such as the six-stringed lute and ketipung. In addition, do not forget that between the playing music, verses are inserted in the form of reciprocal rhymes containing moral advice according to eastern customs. Jepen dance can be said to be a cross-cultural art, considering that similar art is also found on the coast of Sumatra and Sarawak, Malaysia, which is better known as the japin or zapin or zafn dance.
To preserve the Jepen dance as an original art of Kutai Kertanegara, the local government annually holds a Jepen Festival which gives birth to many Jepen creations from various sub-districts in Kutai Regency. This activity should be appreciated as an effort to preserve the art of Jepen, so that nowadays Jepen creations are often found in various cultural events, such as traditional weddings, welcoming guests, or circumcision events. [AhmadIbo / IndonesiaKaya]