Jakarta. Banyuwangi in East Java is scheduled to hold the colossal dance exhibition Gandrung Sewu Festival on Sunday (08/10).
The festival will adopt the "Kembang Pepe" theme to retell the story of how gandrung dancers served Dutch army soldiers liquor during the colonial era to inhibit their capabilities so they could be easily captured by Indonesian nationalists.
Performers in the dance have been selected from junior and senior high schools in Giri, Wongsorejo, Kalipuro and Glagah in Banyuwangi.
Banyuwangi district head Azwar Anas said residents are very enthusiastic to join the festival as their sense of involvement in exposing the region's arts and culture has begun to grow.
In 2012, the mass dance festival earned an award from Indonesian Museums of Records (MURI) as an event with the largest number of dancers, with a total of 1,047.
"The number of participants must increase this year. I hope the Gandrung Sewu Festival will break another record in MURI so the city can attract more tourists," said Esthy Reko Astuti, deputy for tourism development at the Ministry of Tourism.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said the ministry will continue to push Banyuwangi as a hotbed for foreign tourism, saying "traditional rituals like Gandrung Sewu is unique and suitable as one of the best tourist attractions in Banyuwangi."