A BIOMECHANICAL ANALYSIS OF TRADITIONAL JAVANESE DANCE STYLES
Luis Hernandez Barraza1, Yeow Chen-Hua1,2, Miguel Escobar Varela1
1National University of Singapore, Singapore;
2Advanced Robotics Center, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Dance is one of the most important aspects of Javanese intangible heritage. Its academic study has a long history but it has been limited to qualitative descriptions. We believe that a more systematic, quantitative analysis of dance is needed in order to better understand the evolution of dance forms, create more effective cultural policies and train future generations of dancers. For this purpose, we investigated the kinetic and kinematic differences between Javanese dance styles at the gait analysis laboratory of a local Singaporean university. One professional Javanese dancer (36 years old, 1.70 m, 65 kg) was recruited and instructed to perform movements that correspond to different character types in the Sendratari dance-drama: vigorous (gagah), ogre (raksasa) and refined (lanyap). The dancer stood up from a kneeling position in the way that befits each character type. A motion capture system and force plates were used to measure the kinematics and kinetics of each standing movement. One factor ANOVA was used to compare the movements. Our results showed that the only character type which had a significant differenc was the vigorous character. The vigorous character motions showed a peak right knee flexion angle of 152° (±2.5°) and a peak right vertical ground reaction force of 101.5 %BW(±0.5%). These results suggest that this character type requires a higher knee flexion angle and higher vertical forces. This result is surprising since a qualitative analysis of the characters would describe the vigorous and refined characters as being more closely related. However, our results show that the underlying structures of the movements of refined characters and ogres are actually very similar. This insight into Javanese dance can only be obtained through quantitative analysis. Thus, the results provide a scientific understanding of the biomechanical signatures of the different character types.