Saman Dance performance in Aceh breaks MURI record

Foto: Eno Sunarno/Rakyat Aceh Penari Saman 10001 di Gayo Lues pecahkan rekor MURI.

An event dubbed “10,001 Saman Dancers” on Aug. 13 brought together up to 12,262 dancers at the Thousand Hills Stadium in Blangkejeren city, Gayo Lues, Aceh.

The event was added into the Indonesian Museum of Records (MURI) for the most Saman Dance participants.

Aceh Tourism Agency head Reza Pahlevi said the traditional dance had previously earned a MURI record for the same category in 2014 with 5,057 people. It was awarded after UNESCO enacted Saman Dance as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2011.

“This event is a collaboration between Aceh and Gayo Lues administrations. After being awarded as a world heritage by UNESCO, Saman Dance doesn’t just belong to the people of Gayo Lues, but also to the world; let’s preserve it together,” said Reza.

Gayo Lues Regent Ibnu Hasyim hoped the event could also served as a reminder of Syekh Samman.

“This 10,001 Saman Dancers event will remind people, especially the youngsters of Syekh Samman, who made the country proud through his works,” said Ibnu.

Saman Dance is a traditional dance from Tanoh Rencong. It is one of the dances that are being taught at schools.

Performing this dance requires a full concentration. It begins with slow swaying movements at first and then goes faster and faster toward the end.

“Saman Dance has a high difficulty level; mastering it requires a high physical endurance, quick and synchronized body movement between dancers and understanding of the song,” Ibnu said.

“It’s not only how fast the movement is, but also how these dancers can still stay in-sync while performing in high speed, which is why practice and discipline are required in order to perform a fascinating Saman Dance,” Ibnu added. (kes)

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