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Islamic Periode

In the five hundred years from tile beginning of the Kediri period to the end of the Majapahit, it is obviouis that dancing developed well and very rapidly in Java. The dance however, was still restricted to 'the court of the king and the mansion of the nobility, which left its mark upon their character and nature. This does not mean, however,, that the common people did not have any dancing; go doubt they possesed folk dances but these would not have such high levels in aesthetic values and development as the court-dances.


It is also obvious that from the 10th to the 15th century the centre of development of dancing in Java was in the eastern part of the -island centred upon the kingdoms Kahuripan, Kediri, Singhasari and Majapahit.

The Islamic period in fact began before the end of the Hindu-Indonesian period, with tile rise of Islamic kingdom in North Sumatra from about the end of the l3th century. From this timeonwards, Islam found fertile soil throughout Indonesia. It is worth
noting that although Islam differs from the 'Hindu religion over concept of God, the difference in Indonesia was not as profound assometimes belived. More and more tendencies towards monotheism appeared in Hinduism as is shown by the welding together of the three Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva in the trinity Trimurti,
while Buddhism too, showed a similar trend. Besides that, there was also a syncretism of Hinduism and Buddhism called Tantrism during the Fast Java period. This fact is important for understanding why Islam found fertile soil in Indonesia at, a time when the Hindu-Indonesian kingdoms in Java were approaching their end.
Moreover, the Islam entering Indonesia possessed considerable tolerance, since. it seems to have come through Gujarat in North
West India where Hindu elements had already become attached to Islam. Accordingly, the process of Islamization of Indonesian was very quick and smooth. The tolerance of the Islam entering Indonesia, left the growth of dancing in Java undisturbed at this time. We can even say that dancing continued to develop satisfactorily.

The Islamic kingdom in Java which replaced the Majapahit kingdom was the Demak kingdom (1500-1550), the centre of which was in the norteastern part of Central Java. The Demak kingdom existed only for half a century and was replaced by the Pajang kingdom (1568-1586). With this kingdom the centre of the state started to shift towards the middle of Central Java, and when the Mataram kingdom succeeded the Pajang its centre actually moved re, the middle of Central Java once more.

At this time there was still a Hindu-Indonesian kingdom in West Java, the kingdom of Banten; Pajajaran had collapsed at the time of Majapahit. But not long afterwards, Banten became an Islamic kingdom under Fatahillah from Demak. Simultaneously with the Islamization of Banten, a new Islamic kingdom arose in West Java, the kingdom of Cirebon, which was set up by Fatahillah in the 16th century. Cirebon was able to maintain itself and to develop. It is noteworthy that the presence of these kingdoms in West Java brought about enrichment of dancing in the island of Java. It was these West Java kingdoms that later produced the Sunda style of the essential spirit of which differs from that of Java or Central Java style.

 

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Returning to the kingdoms of Demak, Pajang and Mataram: though these were Islamic kingdoms they still preserved dancing, which, indeed, was often used as a means of attracting people to

 

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