Get to know the Ketoprak left behind by Maestro Bondan Nusantra forever

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ACCURATE.CO One of the maestro of traditional Ketoprak performing arts from Jogja, Bondan Nusantara, has died at the age of 69 years.

The news of the departure of the Ketoprak maestro was confirmed by his fellow Jogja artist, Bambang Paningron.

According to Bambang, Bondan died at his home in the Kasongan area, Bantul, this afternoon.

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“It’s true, Mas Bondan died this afternoon around 3 o’clock at his house, Kasongan area, Bantul,” said Bambang when contacted by reporters, Wednesday (20/4/2022).

Bambang told the news of Bondan’s sudden departure. Because, previously there were no complaints of any pain.

Even Bondan and Bambang, should meet, for a meeting to discuss various things.

“Because this morning there was supposed to be a meeting with me, the cultural meeting at the service this morning but it wasn’t rushed (came). Then according to the news, he actually woke up this morning but maybe he woke up being excited or what if he continued to sare (sleep) again. Then he was woken up, he didn’t want to , told dhahar (eat) not want to,” he said.

Quoted from various sources, since graduating from junior high school in 1970, Bondan Nusantara has been actively participating in kethoprak around ‘Dahono Mataram’. His talent was passed down from his mother who became a legendary kethoprak player.

Bondan learned to write the kethoprak script from Handung Kussudarsana in 1980. The script has been played and broadcast on several radio stations in Yogyakarta, including Rasia Lima, Retjo Buntung, and MBS Kotagede. He also wrote ketoprak plays on TVRI until 1999.

He is also a director and scriptwriter for the New Mataram Dagelan Art Community. The man who was born in Yogyakarta, October 6, 1952, dared to create the concept of the Kethoprak Plesetan Sapta Mandala Kodam VII Diponegoro performance in 1991.

As is known, ketoprak is a traditional drama art originating from Central Java. This art was born in Surakarta and developed rapidly in Yogyakarta, so it is often also called Ketoprak Mataram.

Ketoprak contains several main elements in the form of dialogue, songs, and jokes accompanied by gamelan. In the Ketoprak performances using Javanese language media, the stories shown are usually in the context of Javanese culture, so that they are very popular with Javanese people.

The word ketoprak itself according to Kuswadji Kawindrasusanto in a kethoprak workshop on 7-9 February 1974 in Yogyakarta comes from the word prak, which is the sound of a traditional tiprak musical instrument which when played will produce a ‘prak’ sound.

Ketoprak was originally a folk game performed by children at the time of the full moon to the accompaniment of the mortar and pestle. Ketoprak game besides being entertainment actually also has a religious meaning.

Ketoprak, which is played with a mortar and pestle, is believed to be able to bring Dewi Sri down to earth.

There is a belief that Dewi Sri as a symbol of the Goddess of fertility will come down to earth, if the sounds of tiprak are sounded. Although originating from Central Java, in fact this art is widely developed and enjoyed by people throughout Java. This is due to the habit of the ketoprak group exploring all regions in Java.

They perform and bring stories to the community which usually contain elements of education, communication about issues in society, as well as being popular entertainment.

In the past, the art of ketoprak was only performed in the palace environment. Only in 1922 during the Mangkunegaran Palace in Surakarta, this art began to be enjoyed by the public.

At that time, the performance was still very simple accompanied by gamelan mortar, pestle, drums and flute. Ketoprak is more popular with the public because the story revolves around the life of the kingdom or the palace.

In connection with the story that was raised, in 1942, this art was banned from being performed by the Japanese government.

The ban is related to rhymes and storylines that satirize the Japanese government a lot.

In its journey, the art of ketoprak has been marked by many changes, especially in terms of its form and terms. As a form of Javanese folk art, ketoprak was originally only for entertainment and later developed as a means of education or for da’wah.

In the ketoprak performance there are elements of dance, music, story, dialogue, acting, stage setting, lighting, make-up, and dress code.


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