Rodat art was born and developed in the Kepaon Islamic Village, Pemogan Village, Denpasar City, Bali Province. The Kepaon Islamic Village is inhabited by the Bugis and Malays who came to Bali during the Badung Kingdom. At the discretion of the King of Badung at that time, these Muslim immigrants were given a place in Kepaon.
Rodat art began when the ancestors of the Kepaon people settled in the area. This art serves as a relief when they come home from farming or fishing. At night after the Isha prayer, the Kepaon community gathers at the local mosque, then sings song verses accompanied by dance moves. At the end of the dance, they form a circle and practice martial arts moves. This self-defense exercise was carried out because they were joined as the King of Badung’s army.
Etymologically, the word Rodat is taken from the word Raudah from Arabic, namely the name of a garden in the holy land. As with a garden, of course, there will be reflected in it a beauty with various kinds of plants, even colorful flowers grow to decorate the garden. The diversity of these plants makes the garden look beautiful.
The singing in Rodat art is dominated by Arabic songs. However, there are also many songs in the form of typical Malay rhymes. These songs convey messages about the greatness and love of humans for God, the glory of the Prophets, the anxiety about the beauty of God’s creation and the beauty of togetherness even in differences.
The dance moves are in the form of self-defense movements, namely the art of pencak silat originating from Indonesia. At first glance, the movements resemble Balinese performing arts, namely the Kecak dance. This can be seen in the last movement of Rodat’s art that forms a circle, before the pencak silat attraction begins.
Rodat art is supported by approximately 60 male players, of whom 45 are players and 15 are musicians. The musical accompaniment facilities are very simple, namely:
- Jidur (a type of large drum with a diameter of about 100 cm) functions as a slow or fast regulator of a movement that is adjusted to the song that accompanies it.
- Kedencong (a type of drum / tambourine with a diameter of about 40 cm) functions to follow the rhythm of jidur by replying to each other according to the rhythm of the song being accompanied.
The development of this art had become extinct in the era of the 70s. In the early 1980s, this art was revived thanks to art research conducted by a lecturer from KOKAR Denpasar. Now, Rodat art also functions as a performer during national and religious holidays. This art can take the form of parades, performances in the field or open stage, to performances in the context of picking up the bride and groom, circumcision events and so on.
Data source: Rodat Youth Arts Association of Kepaon Islamic Village