Plate Dance (Minangkabau: Tari Piriang) is a dance art that comes from the Minangkabau of West Sumatra, Indonesia. It is one of Minangkabau art of dance which is still practiced by residents of Negeri Sembilan Minangkabau descent. This dance has a motion that resembles the movement of farmers during planting, making work reaping and so on. This dance also symbolizes joy and gratitude with the results of their crops. This dance is a jig with the dancers holding plates in their palms, accompanied by a song played by Talempong and Saluang. Sometimes, the dishes will throw into the air or slammed to the ground and climbed by the dancers. To add aesthetic elements, magic and surprises in this dance, male and female dancers will trample the broken plates without fear nor wound. The audience will certainly feel terrified when the glass broke and it climbed sharply.
At the old days, plate dance was created to give offerings to the gods when they entered the harvest, but after the arrival of Islam in Minangkabau dance for the offering is no longer to the gods but is intended for crowd attended by kings or princes in country, plate dance also used in other crowded events such as the wedding ceremony.
Regarding the first dance appearance is not known for sure, but it is believed that the plate dance has been in the dance of malay islands since more than 800 years ago. This dance is also believed to spread in western Sumatra and growing up in the days of Sri Wijaya Kingdom. After the emergence of Majapahit in the 16th century that dropped the Sri Wijaya, it had pushed the plate dance to developing countries along with the other Malay people at the time.
Sequence of Plate Dance
In the art of plate dance it can be done in various ways, it all depends on where the place or village where the dance was done. But not so many differences from plate dance made from one place to another place, especially regarding the concept, approach and style offerings. As a whole, to understand how a dance is served, below is a sequence or arrangement of an offering.
1. Get started early
It is customary that an offering should be commenced with art supplies neatly. Before a dedication was held, in addition to training to achieve proficiency, the dancers’ breathing should also have a good workout in order not to mess while making offerings.
Toward the day or time of the offering, the dancers must ensure that the plates on which they will use are in good condition. A cracked or chipped dishes should be replaced with another, so as not to endanger their self or the crowd which is watching. These dancers also have to decide the number of plates to be used.
2. Venturing dance
Plate dance will be preceded by tambourine and gong played by the musicians. Plate dance dancers will begin with a ‘call upon the bride’ as much as three times as a sign of respect for the bride.
3. When Dancing
Finished with three ranks worship bride, dancers will kick off the dance with the plate and waved his hand to the right and left follow by music. Dancers will then stand up and first underlayer, or trample one by one plate that had been developed earlier as they were heading toward the bridal couple in front of them. In general, plate dance dancers will ensure that all the plates are arranged. After all the dishes done trampled, Plate Dance dancers will step stride with the original tread plates that had been developed earlier. Dancers must not postpone the wedding.
4. Ending Dance
A presentation by dancers will be ended if all the plates have been climbed and the dancers close the grain with a closing worship.
Meaning of processing plate dance
The plate is said to present a dance of beautiful women which beautifully dressed, and walk with gentle courtesy and order when bringing a delicious plate of food to be offered to the gods as offerings. These women will dance while walking and in the same period showed their skills to bring dishes containing these foods. The arrival of Islam has brought changes to the trust and the concept of this dance. The plate is no longer dedicated to the gods, but for traditional ceremonies, attended jointly by the kings or princes.
The beauty and uniqueness of dance has led to the expansion of the plate offering among the common people, the marriage ceremony. In this case, the couple is still considered the king and worthy of the dance. Plate dance has a major role in the marriage customs of Minangkabau society. Basically, the offering plate at a wedding dance is for entertainment purposes only.
In general, clothes which are colorful and beautiful is a must for a dance. But for plate Dance, it is enough to wear braces and wearing songket Malay Minang only. The color of clothes is also up to the dancers themselves to decide. However, bright colors like red and yellow is often the choice to dancers because it is easier viewed by the audience.
Musical instruments used to accompany plate dance are Tambourine and Gong. Gong is very important blow because it will be a guide to determine the steps to the dancers and dance movement. In general, an accompanying set of Tambourine and parading the couple were given the responsibility to accompany the offering plate dance. However, in certain circumstances may also plate dance accompanied by other instruments such as Talempong and drum.