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Candra Dewi

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Candra Dewi

Excerpt: In this section, the musicians said, the dancer represents the heavenly nymph Nawangwulan, well-known to Javanese from the folktale of Jaka Tarub. Nawangwulan lives with Jaka Tarub and bears him a child, but eventually she leaves them and returns to heaven. Apparently, an equation is made between the gandrung’s brief sojourn among the guests and Nawangwulan’s time on earth. In the verses, the gandrung is also equated with the moon (candra): both shine at night but retire as dawn approaches.... She also takes leave of the women of the house, saying that it is already morning and they must relight the fires they put out the night before. At one point she says “it’s time now, it’s time now, take care of the child,” which may be another injunction to the women, or is perhaps a reference to Nawangwulan’s departure. The second part of Candra Déwi is usually (as here) a stop-and-go sequence in which the triangle player repeatedly interrupts the song to tease the dancer. The musicians say that the triangle player is “joking” with the gandrung.

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