Celebrating Idulfitri 2019 in Indonesia

At long last after thirty days of fasting all day everyday in the month of Ramadhan, muslims all over the world celebrate Idulfitri or Hari Raya as Indonesians would say. Everyone sends words such as Selamat Hari Raya (meaning Blessings of Hari Raya) and Mohon Maaf Bathin (meaning please forgive me heart and soul). The…

Discussions on a Dance Studies Anthology in 2013

The following discussions were held in a meeting on the 16th-10-2013 at the Jakarta Arts Council Office Taman Ismail Marzuki Cultural Centre, titled Sarasehan Antologi Kajian Tari (Dance Studies Anthology). Experts active in dance studies were invited to join in the discussions to give their thoughts. I was among them but my role was more…

Attending a Silat event in Cilegon, Banten 3-4 May 2019

I attended an auspicious event where major traditional silat martial artists in Indonesia gathered to discuss, perform and hold silat artifacts and old manuscript exhibitions. The event was held in Cilegon, Banten province. Banten is known for its history of Silat or to use the Indonesian term, pencak silat. At the seminar the speakers among…

Why am I writing and am I a writer yet?

Why am I writing? The answer is because I want to, simple as that. Am I a writer yet? I don’t have the answer because I don’t think of the answer and I don’t really care whether I fit into the label of writer or not. How did I start writing? Now this I can…

A visit to Palu, Sulawesi island

I remember being invited by a friend of mine to Palu which is in Sulawesi, Indonesia. The invitation was for me to review a cultural festival and give some comments on the festival and workshop materials. The result of the workshop would be performed as the highlight of the festival. The Palu community is wonderful,…

A visit to Timika, Papua.

Due to a young Papuan choreographer named Alfo Smith (his chosen stage name), I was able to finally arrive in Timika, Papua in Indonesia. He invited a team of lecturers from the Institut Kesenian Jakarta, Dance Study Program, to review his site specific choreography for contemporary dance based on tradition. The site was a piece…

West Sumatra; Minangkabau people

My father is a Minangkabau originally from West Sumatra where he met my mother in Sawahlunto after returning from Australia. He had finished his studies in Australia after obtaining a scholarship through the Colombo Plan during the President Sukarno goverment. He worked for my mothers father who was a Superintendent in Sawahlunto at the time…

In Painan West Sumatra, Indonesia

This is the wife of Bapak (father a polite term to address an older person) Amlis whos is a maestro of the Rantak Kudo dance. It involves rituals and elements of martial arts. The above picture shows Ibu (mother) Amlis cooking with fire wood. Their house is very simple and is categorised as Rumah Miskin…

Technology and dance

Dance has advanced so much in using technology. In a recent collaboration between the Japan Foundation and  the Faculty of Performing Arts, the Dance Department at the Jakarta Institute for the Arts presented the work of a Japanese choreographer  from the group Nibroll, performed by the students and alumni from the dance department  using  video…

Koonawarra, Dapto. A place I used to call home.

My fondest memories are when I remember my school in Koonawarra, Dapto, NSW, Australia. My parents moved there to raise their 5 children. We then moved back to Indonesia when I was 10 and I have never been back again to Australia since. I would really love to. I still see Australians as fellow countrymen…

The Balinese Pajegan Mask Dance Theatre

This note is to give respects to my beloved teacher in Balinese dance. I learned Balinese dance and was taught the Balinese Pajegan dance theatre by Bapak I Wayan Diya during my studies at Institut Kesenian Jakarta or the Jakarta Institut of the Arts.  I Wayan Diya, was born on March 3, 1937 in Lembah…