Arts |

Sundanese Reak Art Will Rock the Roskilde Festival in Denmark

Arts | 24 June 2022

A reak art group from Bandung regency, West Java has been invited to perform at the Roskilde Music Festival in Denmark scheduled on 26 June to 2 July along with the world’s big names, such as Dua Lipa, Post Malone, TLC, The Strokes, and The Smile.

Eight representatives of a Sundanese reak art group, Juarta Putra will join in the biggest music event in Denmark and one of the biggest in Europe, Roskilde that will host world-renowned musicians, such as Dua Lipa, Post Malone, TLC, The Strokes, and The Smile. The art group was specially invited by the Danish team who had witnessed their live performance in Indonesia to participate in the festival.

Juarta Putra is an established reak art group which was founded in 1982 in Ciguruwik backwoods, Cinunuk village that is the next generation of the previous group, namely Warga Budaya (1935-1975) led by Abah Juarta and currently consists of 30 people.

Reak itself is an art that lives among agrarian communities, especially farming communities who mostly grow rice. Initially this art was an accompaniment to a ceremony which in Sundanese is called helaran reumpak jarami, ampih pare, which is a ceremony performed when farmers move rice from the rice fields to a rice storage area called leuit, or stored at home.

The accompaniment instrument used by Juarta Putra is a set of dogdog, percussion musical instruments consisting of tilingtit, tong, brung, bangplak, bedug, kecrek, and tarompet. In addition, this art presentation is also complemented by barongan dancers and kuda lumping (flat horse) dancers who usually dance in a state of possession or trance.

Not only to perform on that prestigious stage, the art group also takes this opportunity to discuss with other artists and to collaborate as a transcontinental cultural movement. The group will perform in the same day as The Strokes, St. Vincent, Haim, and Kings of Convenience on 2 July. They will collaborate with Denmark cultural movement musicians, who belong to a group called Snöleoparden as well as with Luigi from Italy.

“This invitation is a tribute to our ancestors and a reminder of how vast life is, what an honour it is to be able to showcase the art of reak in Europe. We hope that with this opportunity, we can add to the historic record of pride that traditional arts can continue to be recognized on the international stage. Hopefully, Indonesian traditional arts will continue to be preserved in their own country and in other countries," said Anggi Nugraha who represents Juarta Putra.

Roskilde Music Festival is a non-profit festival that was started by two students in 1971 in Denmark which until now continues to generate millions of dollars in donations for culture, music, and humanity.