Blambangan Art School
Blambangan Art School has been in operation since 1995 and produces dances and music that are popular among the people in Banyuwangi. The school focuses especially on children and teenagers to revive the performing art tradition and provides them support to perform in their own communities. At this institution, the influences from other cultures lend to a reproduction of Banyuwangi dance and music that boasts their own unique and special touch.
This group of musicians is led by the composer, Sunardianto, who has been performing since the age of seven under the tutelage of Rajuli, the father of Banyuwangi art. He has been involved in the creative process since 1985, concentrating on traditional songs and being involved in rejuvenation of the songs, often to accompany traditional dances or theatrical performances. He has created hundreds of musical compositions for events at many venues, from the kampung, or villages, to the Presidential Palace to international jazz festivals. Music is Sunar’s life; it provides a livelihood for his family as well as his people.
Blambangan Art School is deeply rooted in a style of music that is popular in Banyuwangi. While their work emphasizes in keeping traditions alive through music, they always attempt to maintain a close connection to the surrounding youth. The name of a social dance in the area, Gandrung music can be interpreted as “falling in love.” This concert with Blambangan Art School depicts the cycle of a night-long Gandrung show and illustrates the atmosphere of rowdiness, litheness, beauty, and earnestness in approaching the dawn.