Soerya Soemirat Dance Workshop, Dancers of Mangkunegaran Royal Palace
Soerya Soemirat Dance Workshop was established by GPH Herwasto Kusuma on October 2nd, 1982. Located at the Prangwedanan Hall of Mangkunegara Palace in Surakarta, the workshop was aimed to provide cultural art skill to the younger generation and to preserve and develop the culture. Until now, workshop has approximately 500 students. Soerya Soemirat Dance Workshop has many achievements under its belt on local, regional as well as national level. It has sent various art missions to Europe, Japan, Morocco, and Singapore.
One of the most famous dances choreographed by the Soerya Soemirat Dance Workshop is the Bedhaya Bedhah Madiun, dating back from the era of Mangkunegaran VII. The dance depicted the love story of His Majesty Panembahan Senopati from the Mataram Kingdom with Retno Dumilah, daughter of His Excellency Panembahan Ronggo Jumpeno, the Regent of Madiun. When Panembahan Senopati conquered Madiun Regency, the Regent lost the war and was forced to leave his home. However, the resourceful Regent sent his daughter, Retno Dumilah, to face Panembahan Senopati; armed with a sacred keris (a Javanese dagger) named Kyai Gumarang. Instead of fighting Retno Dumilah, Panembahan Senopati fell in love and asked for her hand in marriage. Retno Dumilah agreed to marry him provided that he defeated her. A ferocious fight ensued, from which Panembahan Senopati won her as his wife.