MD Entertaiment

The Origins of Badarawuhi di Desa Penari: Possessing a Dancer Till She Was Cast Away From the South Sea 

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Watch the official trailer of Badarawuhi di Desa Penari here.


Badarawuhi is known as an entity that has massive power that makes her capable of ending someone’s life. This tale was made into the film “Dancing Village: The Curse Begins” which is not only shown in Indonesia but also aired in cinemas in the United States. Here is the origin of Badarawuhi, which was once cast away from the Southern Sea, became the ruler of ghosts, and is the most feared in the eastern part of Java Island. 


The figure Badarawuhi is seen as a legend by the people that lived in the eastern part of Java since ages ago, but then, her tale became more widespread as it was believed that she could adopt a physical form and is still the ruler of East Java.


There have been a couple of mysteries surrounding Badarawuhi, starting from the adaptation of the film ‘Dancing Village: The Curse Begins’ where it was shown that she needs to choose a female candidate(Dawuh) to do her bidding where they would need to dance for the ghosts that reside in the area she rules. Her need/want to do so becomes a curse to the residents of the Dancing Village. Everyone who resides in the village needs to perform a specific ritual where Badarawuhi is given a chance to pick the next Dawuh from the 7 female candidates which is made as a ritual sacrifice from the villagers. 


In the middle of the ritual, the Dawuh candidates are forced to dance for the ghosts of the village without them while unconscious. Badarawuhu then picks one Dawuh that she is drawn to the most to stay with her on the other side. 


Not only that but the story of Badarawuhi’s origin also appeared when the Dancing Village was visited by a group of college students that is going through a community service program. But they ended up not focusing on their community service as they faced the terrors of Badarawuhi that threatened their lives because Badarawuhi had picked a girl from their group to be the next Dawuh candidate. This story can be seen in the first movie “KKN di Desa Penari.”


Also read: Cerita Badarawuhi menurut Penonton: Film Mendunia Kualitas Internasional


This Is the Story of the Origin of Badarawuhi di Desa Penari Which Is Still Related to Nyi Roro Kidul

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Many have asked, who actually is Badarawuhi di Desa Penari?


Based on the original story of Badarawuhi, this figure is connected to Ratna Nareh, a student of the knight during Prabu Airlangga’s reign. Ratna Nareh used the sacred equipment to worship Sanghyang to maintain the tradition in the sanctuary.

However, when Mpu Barada defeated her powerful teacher, Ratna Nareh fled to the eastern most region of Java. She led a village by becoming the head of an area called Alas Daha. This village is believed to be a gateway between dimensions located on the North Coast of Java, featuring a bathing place for dancers (padusan). This padusan is believed to be a resting place and bathing spot for Nyi Roro Kidul during her visits.

Also read: Aulia Sarah sebagai Badarawuhi: Scene Nari Bikin Merinding!


Ratna Nareh did not leave empty-handed, but left with the knowledge of Kadigjayan. This enabled her to defeat the lekembang in Central and East Java, and become the village head—replacing his predecessor, who tried to satisfy his desires with Ratna Nareh. 


In this village, Ratna Nareh became very arrogant and did not hesitate to break the rules that had been made. One of them was breaking the rules to dance to gamelan music. Ratna Nareh did this to invite the lelembut to attend. However, the lekembang that came not only attacked Ratna Nareh but also all the village residents, including the dancers.


Ratna Nareh and the villagers were wiped out as if swallowed by the earth. Learning about this incident, Nyi Roro Kidul sent her accomplice to possess the body of a dancer to guard the padusan where she stopped. 


Unfortunately, the softness of Nyi Roro Kidul’s messenger did not want to leave the dancer’s body and as a result, the body was destroyed and melted down. After being expelled from the South Coast because he had defected, this lelembut was cursed with wearing a green shawl, similar to Ratna Nareh, and then transformed into a snake demon named Badarawuhi.


Dancing Village: The Curse Begins (Badarawuhi di Desa Penari)

That is the origin story of the original Badarawuhi. It turns out that this figure is very closely related to dancers because the spirit of Nyi Roro Kidul’s messenger who was supposed to guard the padusan was reluctant to leave a dancer’s body from the village in Alas Daha, so they were cursed.


Also read: MD Pictures Partners with Lionsgate to Distribute Badarawuhi di Desa Penari (Dancing Village: The Curse Begins)


However, this curse actually makes this gentle, defected figure even crazier, because after being cursed and expelled from the South Coast for a long time, she still bothers people, and even wants to make all the women she likes into dancers. The visualization is exactly what is contained in the film Dancing Village: The Curse Begins. Here’s the synopsis.


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The movie Dancing Village: The Curse Begins serves as a prequel to the film KKN di Desa Penari that talks about Mila, a girl who is trying to find a way to heal her mother who is seriously sick at home. Mila with her older cousin, Yuda, and Yuda’s friends, Arya and Jito, go to the dancing village, the village which is thought to have the source of the answer to Mila’s long search regarding her mother’s illness.


When they reached the village, they were told that the person who was able to tell them about the disease and mystical questions was Mbah Buyut. But, at that time Mbah Buyut was far away and there was no sign of him. As a result, Mila, Yuda, Arya, and Jito were forced to stay and wait in the village.


Also read: Kisah Badarawuhi di Desa Penari: Maudy Effrosina Menari dalam Buta!


Yuda asked a girl from the village named Ratih to let Mila stay at her house, as the place to stay in the village is only an open building like a patrol post. Listening to that request, Ratih allowed Mila to stay for the time being but also warned Mila not to make any noise because Ratih’s mother was also very sick.


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At Ratih’s house, Mila accidentally peeked at Ratih’s mother lying in bed. Her body was covered in ulcers that oozed and bled. Weirdly enough, Jiyanti (Ratih’s mother) was not only laying still, but her body was moving as if dancing!


Seeing this, Mila told Ratih that her mother in Surabaya was facing a similar disease and that was the reason Mila came to the village, to give the Kawaturih bracelet to its owner with the hope that her mother would be cured of the disease.


Instead of finding out how to cure her mother, Mila met something bigger than the dancing village. After investigating, Ratih promised the snake demon, Badarawuhi; that if she succeeds in turning Mila in, Ratih’s mother will recover. Badarawuhi has liked Mila since arriving at the village and used Ratih’s mother’s curse disease as collateral to make Mila a candidate to be a dawuh.


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Even in the padusan (bathhouse), Badarawuhi possessed Ratih’s body and made Mila afraid. From there, Mila realized that she was already dealing with the figure of Badarawuhi, a figure who ruled East Java.


badarawuhi di desa penari md pictures


One day, Ratih succeeded in bringing Mila to Angkara Murka, the place Badarawuhi is with her fellow dancers. Mila was forced to give up the Kawaturih bangle to Badarawuhi without knowing the impact and cause of her action. Then, Mila and Ratih ran away from Angkara Murka.


For decades since the incident where Mila’s mother ran away with Kawaturih, Badarawuhi has not been able to choose a dawuh candidate. However, after Mila returned Badarawuhi’s Kawaturih, everything changed.


badarawuhi di desa penari md pictures


Not long after, Mbah Buyut returned from his long journey.  Mbah Buyut started to prepare for the ritual of selecting dawuh candidates immediately, especially since Badarawuhi had completely terrorized Mila and Ratih because they had gotten their Kawaturih back.


Initially, Yuda told Mila to go home, but Mila refused, as if she had a premonition that Badarawuhi would continue to eat victims and that his messengers would destroy the entire village if the ritual was not carried out. Finally, Mila had the courage to take part in a series of rituals led by Mbah Buyut.


Also read: Sandiaga Uno Dukung Film Badarawuhi di Desa Penari Sepenuhnya: Gala Premiere


First of all, Mila tried the coffee made by Mbah Buyut. If someone drinks the coffee and tastes  the coffee to be sweet, then they has been chosen as a candidate for dawuh. Meanwhile, if it tastes bitter, then it is a sign that they are not attached to anyone or anything, including Badarawuhi.


Do you know what happens here? Yes, according to Mila, the coffee she drinks was sweet.


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Mila continued the ritual by being bathed in the padusan with Ratih and walking to the pavilion where the dancers were dancing. At this stage, the prospective dawuh would enter Angkara Murka without realizing it and danced continuously. If one by one one of them falls, the other dancers must continue dancing, because if they are the last ones to stop dancing it is a sign that Badarawuhi has chosen her dawuh.


badarawuhi di desa penari md pictures


From the seven dawuh candidates, only Mila and Ratih were left. They were brought to dance in Angkara Murka and Badarawuhi had not picked between the two girls. In Angkara Murka, Mila saw Ratih, Jiyanti, and her mother alone in the middle dancing facing Badarawuhi. Mila also saw many dawuh who had been chosen and trapped in this world so that in real life, they got cursed diseases and died.


However, Mila’s mother warned Mila not to follow any requests made by Badarawuhi. There is a touching scene here between the relationship between a mother and child. The mother is helpless and cannot get out of the prison of this unseen world called Angkara Murka. She must dance all her life.


badarawuhi di desa penari md pictures


On the other hand, Mila managed to escape from Angkara Murka and went against Badarawuhi. After seeing her mother suffered in the real world, Mila could not bring herself to leave her behind in Angkara Murka. However, time was not on their side. Reluctantly, Mila continued with her life and let go of her mother, who was lack of the strength to fight the snake demon.


Mbah Buyut came to rescue Mila, by transforming into an invisible black dog. The dog’s deafening bark causes all the dawuh to stop dancing momentarily. Mila understood the signal to flee and followed the sound of the barking dog until she awakened.


Mbah Buyut advised Mila to never return to Desa Penari and to let go of everything occurred. Overwhelmed with sorrow, Mila realized that her mother, Ratih, and Ratih’s mother, Jiyanti, had passed away, while their spirits continued to dance in the infinite dimension, Angkara Murka.


Upon returning home, Mila found that her mother had passed away. However, Mila would always remember her mother’s struggle was not in vain—bringing Mila back to the real world and allowing her to live her life.


This film, based on a true story told by SimpleMan and supported by real-life witnesses, explores the origins of Badarawuhi. The film’s quality is enhanced by the acting of Aulia Sarah as Badarawuhi. Notably, it is the first Southeast Asian film released for IMAX using IMAX camera standards.


Producer Manoj Punjabi announced that MD Pictures collaborated with Lionsgate to distribute the film internationally, especially in America. Therefore, Dancing Village: The Curse Begins is not only shown in Indonesia but also internationally as in the U.S


Want to see the charm of Aulia Sarah as Badarawuhi? Watch Dancing Village: The Curse Begins with your loved ones, and listen to the original soundtracks on all digital streaming platforms.



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Dancing Village: The Curse Begins (Movie)

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