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Home >> Social Structure >> Poco-Poco Tebe-Tebe & Sajojo

Poco-Poco Tebe-Tebe & Sajojo

Translation from Indonesian: Roderick C. Wahr

There are 3 community dances in Indonesia that reach for the top: Poco-poco, Tebe-tebe and Sajojo. They are equal to imported community dances like Salsa, Jive, and Cha Cha Cha. Who have made these three traditional dances generally popular? “It is due to the members of ABRI (the army) who brought them from East Indonesia” says Ibu Harimawan, dance teacher of a ballroom.

Poco-poco, Tebe-tebe and Sajojo, are popular since the 1990s. In the beginning with the military who had served in Timor, the Moluccas and Irian. “They learned these specific dances in their leisure time. When they returned to Java it became common in Java an elsewhere” said Jery, teacher of community and ballroom dances with the AAU (airforce), Kodim (Military Commandos) and Polda (Police) in Yogya.

Ita Dedy, a teacher and at the same time owner of a dancing school in Yogyakarta, hears another version. “There are those who say that it comes from the ABRI. But there are also those who say that originates from aerobics dancers. I teach Poco-poco only on request. Since Poco-poco and similar dances only serve as an extension here. As an alternative. The movements of Poco-poco are not complex” says Ita Dedy.

Poco-poco Competition
Poco-poco Competition
Poco-poco becomes more and more popular during its development. There are many organizations or agencies that practice it routinely internally.

“And since there often are competitions many feel obliged to practice it regularly” Jery adds.

Tebe-tebe has probably become popular earlier. From the year 1975 our soldiers are being sent to East Timor. In the 1990s this community dance was made popular in Java.

Sajojo? This specific dance from Irian became popular in the years 1997-1998. Only one yeare afterwards did Poco-poco become popular.

Poco-poco originates from the Muluccas. Specifically from Ambon. Whereas Tebe-tebe originates from Timor. Sajojo is from Irian. Ofcourse these three dances have their specific properties in accordance with their place of origin. They in fact are folk dances?” said Jery.

All three have a happy character. Specific to the Poco-poco are the steps broken into alternately changing directions. The count goes as 1-2-3-4. Tebe-tebe is almost the same and starts with the right foot. “But Poco-poco is more broken” clarifies Jery.

Sajojo in Ancol
Sajojo in Ancol
Specific to the Sajojo is the jump-bend-jump-bend, and it starts with the left foot.

Same kind of music? Poco-poco and Tebe-tebe use original texts from their area of origin. While Sajojo usually resembles the Cha Cha Cha rhythm with an Ambon medley and is often sold on cassettes in recordshops. “With Poco-poco and Tebe-tebe you must indeed play the original songs from their area. It can be performed with a cassette or live” Jery explained.

Besides being popular through the military these three community dances are also executed as different variation in health workshops. Inserted in aerobic exercises, with movements that are more dynamic because the accompanying music is regular.

Poco-poco at Monas
Poco-poco at Monas
With the military the exercises of their community dance are acknowledged according to Jery, as there often are competitions between units. “It looks so ordinary. But however easy and simple it looks, when it is performed relaxed in uniform, then it looks good” said Jery.

According to him the movements of the Poco-poco and Tebe-tebe already have a formal format and have become official events for agencies. With the military as well as with the non military agencies. In Jery's version of Poco-poco there are 20 steps that are distributed over three formats. “One to six formal formats, for seven to 13 I use the Berthy Tilarso (a well known dance group teachter) version, 14-20 are my own creations”.

In competitions the formal formats from number one to six are obligatory “That part is judged at first. Therefore, with the military, these formal formats are treated seriously and practiced accordingly” Jery explained.

Source: Minggu Pagi Online

You can hear the Poco-Poco here.
You can hear the Sajojo here.
(Not on this server!)


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