Performance “Bakti Purnamasari” at Yayasan Bumi Karuhun Kadudampit: A Cultural Journey Through Art and Local Wisdom in Sukabumi

On Sunday, August 20, 2023, the public space at the Yayasan Bumi Karuhun Kadudampit (YBKK) located near Jl. Raya Situgunung, Kp. Cibunar, RT 01/Rw 01 Gede Pangrango, Kadudampit, Sukabumi Regency, underwent a sudden transformation into a cultural expression space known as “Bakti Purnamasari.” Bakti Purnamasari was inspired by the Bogor poem that narrates the escape of Princess Purnamasari from Pajajaran to Cidadap, Pelabuhan Ratu, after the fall of Pajajaran. This narrative was brought to life through dance, music, theater, and poetry performances lasting for an hour from 9:30 to 10:30 in an open space serving as a natural stage where performers and appreciators merged within the narrative context.

Located in Cibunar village, YBKK is easily accessible, as it is situated along Jl. Raya Situgunung, a route taken by both public and private vehicles heading to the tourist destination Suspension Bridge, in Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park, Sukabumi. The signboard at YBKK reads “Kampung Bahasa,” indicating that language learning takes place here, specifically English, Arabic, Japanese, and French, using a unique method known as neurolinguistic. The YBKK area features several bamboo buildings with unique architecture, including bale riung, bale atikan, bale pustaka (library), and bale sawala (meeting room). Bale riung, located at the front, serves as a discussion and café space. Surrounding the café are open spaces and pathways on both sides. Bale atikan is situated to the right of bale riung and is connected to the path leading to bale pustaka (library) and bale sawala (meeting room). The pathways on the right of the café and the green open space are called alun-alun. Surrounding these spaces are awitali bamboo fences. YBKK has the potential to become a new tourist destination, offering attractions rooted in Sukabumi’s local wisdom.

The art performance held on Sunday, August 20, 2023, explored the model of educational art tourism, featuring varied artistic presentations, captivating performances within a short timeframe, and educational values absorbed by both performers and appreciators. A total of 35 performers, consisting of Sukabumi high school students, delivered exceptional performances. Approximately 50 appreciators, including students, parents, local officials, Sukabumi residents, and UPI students and professors, witnessed and engaged in this continuous performance divided into five scenes.

The first scene opened on the front stage facing Cilumar Street in front of bale riung, featuring “Tari Mapag Purnama” choreographed by Mohamad Raka Reynaldi and poetry by Indra Gandara. The dance, performed by three female dancers, began with a flower offering. Following this, the flower offering was set aside, and the dancers continued with creative Jaipongan movements accompanied by Jaipong and Cirebonese-inspired music. After the dance, the sound of Jentreng Tarawangsa music signaled the entrance of Indra Gandara, the poetry reader, who slowly walked from the right side of bale riung. Indra was dressed in white and batik sarong, with a batik headband, carrying a paper with his poem. During this initial scene, appreciators stood in the parking area facing the dancers and the poetry reader performing in front of bale riung.

The second scene depicted the journey of Purnamasari, represented by the Mapag Purnama dancers and the poetry reader, along with the appreciators. The three Mapag Purnama dancers descended from the initial performance area, followed by the poetry reader, who walked slowly in front of the appreciators. Together, they walked slowly alongside bale riung, followed by the appreciators. While walking, a poem was recited, narrating Purnamasari’s journey to Cidadap. After approximately ten meters of walking, the dancers and the poetry reader stopped and directed the appreciators to stand on the road while they gazed toward the bale atikan area.

The third scene depicted the war and the fall of Pajajaran. In bale atikan, a female talent dressed in white represented a morning worker who anxiously awaited her friends to work. She expressed her concerns about the impending disaster facing her region and hoped that someone would listen to her. Two more women arrived to wash clothes, followed by two others carrying baskets, and two men came to plow the fields. Children played and ran around, creating a cheerful rural atmosphere. They engaged in conversations, symbolizing discussions about the situation in Pajajaran. Suddenly, a group of soldiers from another kingdom dressed in red attacked the women. Almost immediately, another group of men dressed in green and black entered, engaging in combat with the red-clad soldiers, symbolizing the fall of Pajajaran. The red-clad soldiers repeatedly shouted, “tewak (capture) Purnamasari.”

The fourth scene depicted Purnamasari’s journey through the forest, portrayed by all the talents who had lost the battle and now followed Purnamasari slowly with a sense of sorrow and tears. The appreciators joined as followers of Purnamasari, walking along the forest and the pathway behind bale riung, leading to alun-alun. During this journey, the poetry reader recited the story of Purnamasari’s escape towards Cidadap, Pelabuhan Ratu.

The fifth scene portrayed Cidadap as Purnamasari’s destination, where she was accompanied by her followers. Appreciators and talents representing Purnamasari’s followers arrived at the alun-alun. Five female dancers in white robes and a male figure in black held incense, creating a sacred atmosphere with the scent of incense. The dancers’ white robes fluttered as they performed “Arum Wiyaga,” choreographed by Rivaldi Indra Hafidzin. This dance represented Arum Wiyaga, a character from the Ronggeng Kalasirna story, also known as Prurnamasari. Arum Wiyaga embodied bravery, protection of the people, and preservation of the region. The dance was accompanied by rhythmic music, including vocal beluk and rebana drumming, creating an engaging atmosphere. The five dancers became the focal point for appreciators for six minutes, while 26 talents representing Purnamasari’s followers stood on the sides of the dancers. At the end of the dance, the incense bearer chanted a rajah, and all the talents followed with the phrase “Pikeun Ngagebur Hurung Diwayahna,” signifying the spirit of struggle in their time. All the talents bowed their heads