Langendriyan is an Original Javanese Opera. A typical Javanese dance that has its roots in Pura Mangkunegaran Surakarta. Langendriyan comes from the word langen which means entertainment, and driya which means heart. So, Langendriyan can be interpreted as a dance of the heart. Langendriyan is staged by combining the arts of dance, drama, music, narration, movement and expression.
Langendriyan is a Javanese art in the form of a dance drama. Compared to wayang orang, which is also a form of dance drama, it still has differences. The difference can be seen in the form of dialogue used. The form of wayang orang performances generally uses antawacana (ordinary conversation) and sometimes there is a tembang, while Langendriyan all dialogue uses the Macapat song, which means that the character in the Langendriyan story while in dialogue uses the Macapat song, which is sometimes in one pupuh tembang. Sung by only one person, but sometimes it is also performed by more than one person.
One of the characteristics of Langendriyan is that the dances performed are not performed standing up, but also by squatting and occasionally kneeling. Not surprisingly, the Langendriyan show must have very strong stamina and physique to be able to perform it. The dance moves that are soft but attractive make Langendriyan not easy to do. The graceful movements can quickly turn attractive, while the strains of tembang continue to flow from the mouths of the dancers as they move.
Langendriyan was originally created by R.T. Purwadiningrat in the Yogyakarta Palace, but later developed in Pura Mangkunegaran. Mangkunegaran’s version of Langendriyan is said to have originated from the tradition of “ura-ura” or nembang performed by batik workers at the batik company owned by a Dutchman, Godlieb Kilian in the Pon Market area. It was Godlieb who was the first to hold the Langendriyan performance. Then, by Raden Mas Haria Tandakusuma, the stage was made Langendriyan Mandraswara during the reign of the KGPAA. Mangkunegara IV (1853-1881).