The Jakarta Post
Hitting the stage: A dancer of Sanggar Tari Limpapeh performs Minang traditional martial arts in a number titled Anak Sasian. (JP/Jerry Adiguna)
It was an unforgettable sight when three dancers performed a number inspired by a verse in the Bible. In the theatrical dance titled Tomorrow, the dancers performed with sexual innuendos before they abruptly stopped and laughed, saying “nah.”
But as the stage darkened, they stripped to a dance that emulated movements of sexual intercourse and found liberation and their inner selves.
The dance, choreographed by Eyi Lesar of EE Production, opened the maiden Jakarta Dance Meet Up on March 31 at the Jakarta Play House, an event expected to become the signature production of the dance committee at the Jakarta Art Council.
“We already have 25 dance communities in line, eager to take the stage. We never expected such enthusiasm,” said Hartati, the chairperson of the dance committee.
The committee is also manned by renowned dancer-choreographers Helly Minarti, Rusdy Rukmarata and Yola Yulfianti.
“For the dance meet up, the committee won’t act as a curator. The only thing the dance communities need from us is providing them a stage on which to perform,” added Hartati. “We only make observations and evaluations and afterwards provide them with workshops on show management if needed.”
In addition to EE Production, five other groups performed that evening, each with their own unique concept.
Choreographed by Putri Jingga Aura and Ridwan, Sanggar Tari Limpapeh performed Anak Sasian, which mixed West Sumatra traditional dance with a theatrical performance about a child pursuing education while learning about religion.
EKI Dance Company presented three numbers in a row: Ceker Geger by Kresna Kurnia Wijaya, which depicted a grandeur cockfight — two female dancers in rooster costumes; Preman Jalanan (Street Thugs) by Siswanto and “Kojack” Kodrata; and Takako Leen’s Last Bow — a comical dance inspired by Japanese geisha culture.
Illuminated: Citra Art Studio performs Sedanau choreographed by Suryani.(JP/Jerry Adiguna)
Next on the stage was Citra Art Studio performing Sedanau by Suryani. The dance depicted serene life in a village in Riau that is disrupted by an unfortunate event. The dancers showed their skills of balance by dancing on round wooden blocks while holding lanterns.
The heartfelt dance was followed by a medley of four numbers presented by Cipta Urban TIM: Larantuka People by Gege Diaz; Soccer Philosophy by Aboogrey Lobubun; Urban Hip Hop by Stenly Patty and Déjà vu by Dedi Maniakori.
Young dancers of GIGI Art of Dance performed “Mi Casa,” a collaborative work of the group’s Dance Lab that showed how people interact inside their homes.
Aim high: EKI Dance Company dancers close the first Jakarta Meet Up of Beautiful Bots with a musical mashup of Styx's (JP/Jerry Adiguna)
The closing number, Beautiful Bots, was a collaboration between two EKI choreographers, Kojack and Takako, with vocals and a musical arrangement by Michael da Lopez, Siska Napitupulu and Elly Raranta.
Dozens of dancers in colorful Power Rangers costumes moved to and sang along to Styx’s “Mr. Roboto,” which was later mashed up with Acehnese folk song “Bungong Jeumpa.”
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Acknowledging that most of the dance groups were still relatively unknown despite their creativity and dancing abilities, Hartati said the event marked the first time the communities recognized each other and worked together on stage.
“It’s our strategy to map out the dance communities in Jakarta. There are so many of them from varied genres. We have registered 25 classical and modern dance groups, and we have yet to approach the salsa and belly dance groups. We hope this event serves as a production belonging to and shared by all dance communities.”
The next Jakarta Dance Meet Up is scheduled in August and October. Registration for participants is still available online at bit.ly/formjakartadancemeetup