Now I invite you to know about my province’s culture, it is about traditional dance from Minangkabau ethnic. May you know about this dance, we call “Tari Piring” (The Plate dance).
Tari Piring is one of traditional dance of Minangkabau. From its name we know that means we will see performance of beauty dancers who dance with plates. Usually, the dancers an odd number such as three, five or seven dancers. The dancers will bring plates in their palm while swaying of its to every direction, even turning down with their palm turned down and clicking ring on their finger to the plate, it will give sound like “ting…ting…ting…”. The dance movements are very agile, neat, fast and simultaneous from each dancers, amazingly, whatever energetic moves the dancers make, the plate continue to stick as if glued to their palms. For those who first saw this dance, you will feel so proud and amazed and you will feel worry if plates will fall to the floor.
The plate dance come from Solok city, one of city from West Sumatera province. The first is purposing of this dance is ritual of gratitude Minang society over abundant harvest. This dance took place the first time before Islam entered to Minangkabau, at that time they worship Gods, so this expression as symbolized the gratefulness of the people to the Almighty God which was performed as ritual the harvest time. And, more beautiful girls brought food were placed in a dish. After Islam entered to Minangkabau, this expression as offering to the kings or royalty and only as entertainment for the community.
The dance is as one of important asset for West Sumatera government and it often holds some dance festival in local and international such as America, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia, Dutch, Pakistan, etc. And, sometime ago this dance was shown in four cities in Pakistan, one of them is Karachi.
The plate dance is so unique, it movements imitate farmer grow and express gratitude when the harvest. The dance swaying two or three plates and sometime put candle lit on it. And, that’s so amazing that candles will not be extinguished until the dance is finished. The other amazing from this dance is two rings on fingers and clicking it on plates. In the end of dance, as dramatic climax, you will see the dancers will smash the plates onto the floor, delibaretly breaking them into sharp of pieces. The dancer will then continue dancing on the pointed shards, remaining completely uninjured. That’s why this dance makes everyone amazed. Don’t know exactly what the meaning of this, maybe it expresses how happy and excited they are about harvest.
Beside that, the dancers must have high concentration and must be clean about heart, not arrogant and not in periodic time for girl dancers. Before thread and dance on shards of glasses, dancers must take wudhu and a diviner must do prayer. The plate dance is combined with quickly music from Talempong, Gandang and Saluang. The dress of dancer are light colour such as red and yellow just for easy to know and attract the attention of audience.
As we know that this dance movements imitate farmer, such as hoeing, pull the seeds, planting, fencing, mowing of rice, threshing (drying) of rice, take rice, aerate of race, pounding rice with a pestle, taking out the trash, unwind, deliver food. And, the last is called Pasambahan, it is as gratitude to Allah SWT and an apology to the audience who watched the dance, then “Singanjua Lalai” movement is symbolizes as Minang girls who are walking beautiful in the morning, other movements look like cooperation (“gotong royong”) and combination with treading shards of glasses.
The steps of plate dance begins from preparing such as do exercise and preparing good and no cracked plates. Then, when the dancer get ready to show their performance to audiences usually starts with amazed musical traditional instruments using “rebana” (like tambourine were the initial musical instruments) and gong or “talempong” and “Saluang” (like flute). The first movements from dancers is “Pasambahan” to offering and respect for audience, then grow rice movements until harvest movements. Then, continue with amazing performances, dance and jump on shards of glasses. While dancing, the dancers swing and give sound “ting..ting…ting…” from ring and plates. Then, they end the dance with “Pasambahan” again as expression of gratitude to Allah SWT and say thanks to audiences.
The essence of the plate dance gives positive messages such as happiness, unity, mutual assistance, welfare and prosperity. That’s so amazing and so beautiful if we watch it directly. We feel amazed specially when dancers dance and jump on shards of glasses. This is more important assets from Minangkabau culture, West Sumatera province.
I write this article about the plate dance because I feel so amazed and proud about my province culture, and when I attended my friend wedding party, we are entertained with this dance. Then, I search more information about history of the plate dance. This group dancer in this video name is Gastarana, they have held performance for more country, the last is in four big city in Pakistan as cooperation between Indonesia and Pakistan.
You can watch this dance on this URL. Please click it directly you will watch amazing the plate dance.
I am proud with my culture.
by MEYF ^_^