The Manggar Megar Foundation
Wim and Hermine Kromoredjo, together with the late Mrs. S. Djowikromo,
took the initiative to set up a foundation. They named this foundation Manggar Megar,
and registered it officially in The Hague on July 10th, 2004.
The meaning of its name, "Manggar Megar," is: "Blooming coconut flowers,"
or "the coconut blossoms are blooming."
The story behind the choice of the name Manggar Megar is the idea of a new or
young foundation that is still developing, or blooming.
Our goals are the development and preservation of Javanese performing arts in the Netherlands,
including almost forgotten performing arts such as Wayang Kulit and Javanese theatre.
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Gamelan group Witing Klapa
Around a year after Manggar Megar was founded, the gamelan group Witing Klapa was born. The meaning of Witing Klapa is coconut. In other words, one of the young coconut blossoms has borne a fruit and that fruit has fully developed into a mature coconut, our gamelan group.
The gamelan instruments came from Solo, Indonesia.
How did it happen? Well, Wim and Hermine were on a trip through Indonesia. The last two weeks of their vacation they stayed in Solo, and during one of their explorations they came to the Alun Alun (main square) of the Kraton. In one of the buildings they saw gamelan instruments set up, and on the terrace they saw people making gamelan instruments as well as how they were tuned.
They were so inspired and enthousiastic, that they walked over to the instruments and asked the people working on the instruments if they would make some music on them. Wim and Hermine immediately fell madly in love with this set of gamelan instruments. In fact, these instruments have the same scale as the Javanese gamelan instruments that exist in Suriname. Without thinking twice, they bought the sixteen-piece set of instruments and had them shipped to the Netherlands. The gamelan made a three-week trip across the ocean.
And this is how a gamelan group in the Netherlands came to play Surinamese-Javanese gamelan music on a set of instruments from Indonesia.
The gamelan group Witing Klapa has a number of unique characteristics, which include:
– a wide range of ages: Many talented young people participate, and they are supported by the knowledge of participants over fifty years old.
– practicing two different kinds of gamelan music: Witing Klapa plays both music in both Surinamese-Javanese and Indonesian styles.
– accompanying Wayang Kulit performances and other Javanese theater performances.
Every Friday evening, the group comes together to practice gamelan music under the direction of Orlando Kromopawiro.
Orlando Kromopawiro, also known as Hardjo Prayetno, teaches the gamelan by writing notation of the pieces and sharing them with the group. During the lessons, each member of the group is taught how to play a gamelan instrument. They also learn to play and understand the rhythms and the different styles of gamelan music.
Manggar Megar is committed to the preservation of Surinamese-Javanese and Indonesian traditions in the Netherlands. For the preservation of the Surinamese-Javanese Gamelan, Witing Klapa has worked together with other gamelan groups in the Netherlands, under the name of the Surinamese-Javanese Gamelan Network. The Network works with a Foundation called Stichji, the Foundation for the Commemoration of Javanese Migration to Suriname. The goal was to have the Surinamese-Javanese gamelan tradition included on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Netherlands—and this was accomplished on December 10th, 2020.
Gamelan & Kendang workshops
The Manggar Megar Foundation offers gamelan- and kendang (drumming) workshops, both on location and in our own practice space.
The Dakota Theater
Spiegelzaal 1, 2nd floor
Zuidlarenstraat 57, 2545 VP
De gamelan-oefeningen zijn elke vrijdagavond van 20.00 uur tot 22.00 uur. Tijdens de zomervakantie worden alle activiteiten on hold gezet. Het nieuwe seizoen begint in september.
For more information, contact Wim and Hermine Kromoredjo at 06-31640307
Get in touch
Questions? Interested in collaborating? Contact us!