Balitraveldiary.com – Calon Arang is a folklore that developed in the land of Java and Bali. In Javanese tradition, the embryo of this story is written in a lontar manuscript dated AD 1540, the manuscript is coded LOR 5387/5279, and as of the year 1462, until now, the manuscript is still stored neatly in the national library. While in the Balinese tradition, the story of prospective charcoal is preserved in grubug or geguritan, which is an oral tradition that is brought to life by word of mouth or at an academic level called folk literature. In the current period, the story of Candidate Arang is the most widely retold folklore in various genres, such as novels, drama, comics, ballet, even animated films.
The embryo of the story of the prospective charcoal written in palm-leaf and preserved in the oral tradition, openly condemned the Candidate of Charcoal as an evil widow of a gulf-maker. Told in a remote village called Girah lived a widow named Calon Arang. He has a very beautiful daughter named Ratna Manggali. Thanks to her beauty, Ratna Manggali succeeded in capturing the village youth, but unfortunately they did not dare to propose because the Candidate of Charcoal is known as an evil widow who likes to spread teluh.
From the opinion of Girah Village residents, a label emerged attached that Ratna Manggali was a woman who did not sell. Hearing the rumors, Candidate Arang angry and complained all the villagers of Girah. Raja Airlangga then intervened and ordered Mpu Baradah to finish off Candidate Arang who was considered to be the culprit of the chaos that occurred in Girah Village. Candidates for Charcoal die at the hands of Mpu Baradah after being immoral and incarnated durga.
The emergence of various genres that retell the story of Candidate for Charcoal and then give birth to various new interpretations about the figure of Calon Arang itself. Candidate Ballet Arang for example, the creation of dance creations that are usually staged with the background of Balinese culture, raises a scheme of charcoal candidates that are different from what is told in the embryo of the story.
The birth of various forms of interpretation of the figure of the Candidate Arang that was adopted into various dance performances was not separated from the structure of Balinese society that is flexible in looking at traditional arts. Not surprisingly, the figure of Calon Arang has turned upside down in the image, from an antagonist to a symbol of women’s resistance. In a ballet with a Balinese cultural setting, Candidate Arang found a new form, no longer victims and sacrifices. Now, Calon Arang is a symbol of women’s power even without a crown.
As a creation, Calon Arang ballet is inseparable from the essence of Balinese dance with its flexible yet powerful movements. Combined with Balinese traditional clothes that have been modified complete with a Balinese-style batik cloth wrapped at the bottom. Make-up is made to emphasize facial lines so that it looks like character makeup. Not infrequently, dancers issue sledets as a typical form of Balinese dance. Meanwhile, the accompanying music comes from the sounds of Balinese gamelan combined with various other modern musical instruments. To add to the dramatic element, when moksa, Calon Arang uses a mask in the form of a leak with long dangling nails.
Calon Arang Ballet is more than just a creation of creation. In it contained a counter culture of women who had been oppressed by the philosophy of masculinism. Candidate Arang in the hands of Balinese artists is not merely something that is sacred and steady, but can also be a spectacle that is profane and entertaining. It would not be complete if you have not witnessed the ballet in Bali that lifts back the folklore in this oral tradition.