Binary Opposition, Binary Pair, and the Aftermath


This paper uncovers the presence of gender system exerted in Indonesian folk dance: Reog Ponorogo. Based on historical notes, it is believed that this traditional dance-drama art, has been performed since the 12th century. However, along with the changing era, Reog performance experiences ups and downs, even dying. However, it got reinvigorated after Indonesian independence. Subsequently, Reog gets widely known as the icon of Ponorogo, its originating small town in East Java province. Because Reog dance mainly relies on physical strength, it is perceived as a masculine artwork. As a result, over decades, the binary opposition concept manifested in this folk dance nullified the presence of women. The women’s journey from absence to presence; which was studied based on the dimensions of form, space, and time; depicts two phases of change. First, the change of cultural values which regards male-female dichotomy as equal binary opposition places woman dancers as man’s partners. This considers that harmony is the most important element in the creativity process. Second, today, the self-determination concept which is used as the embodiment of self-actualization can be traced through a specific Reog dance performance, whose dancers are all women.

Author Information
Sri Herminingrum, Universitas Brawijaya, Indonesia

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2018
Stream: Humanities - Other Humanities

This paper is part of the ACAH2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon