Zapin Dara Dance – Since a long time ago, the people of the archipelago are known to have a culture that is open to foreign cultures without leaving their own cultural identity. The nature of openness results in cultural acculturation which further enriches the cultural treasures of the nation. Zapin dance is part of the results of the acculturation of local culture with Arabic culture.

Zapin Dara Dance
Zapin Dara Dance

Etymologically, “zapin” comes from the Arabic “zafn” which means the movements of the feet that quickly follow the beat of the music. Zapin dance is an archipelago dance which is very much influenced by Arabic culture. This dance developed in the Riau community, the coast of western Sumatra, Sarawak, to Brunei. In the past, this dance was only performed by men as entertainment and education.

Based on its development, zapin dance is now not only performed by Adam. Zapin dance is also performed by women or a mixture of the two. The zapin dance that is usually performed by women is better known as the zapin dara dance. The zapin dara dance basically has the same movements as the zapin dance. The difference between the two dances is only the sex of the dancer who carries it. The zapin dance movement is dominated by the shrewdness of lifting the legs. The raised leg is not too high, to respect the audience or guests present.

This dance is accompanied by music sourced from a combination of traditional gambus musical instruments and several o’clock musical instruments commonly known as marwas. In between the music, there are poems delivered. That said, these poems contain moral education in the teachings of Islam. For this reason, the zapin dance was often used as a medium for Islamic religious propaganda.

Zapin dance is one of the dances originating from the open culture of the Indonesian archipelago. In every movement that is displayed, contained a deep philosophical meaning about respect and education. It needs special attention from the younger generation to continue to love and preserve the dance of this archipelago so that it still exists and is not buried by modernization.
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