The Jakarta Post
Illustration of dance stage. (Shutterstock/File)
Indonesian dancer Maria Darmaningsih was awarded the badge of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) on Saturday at the Salihara Gallery in Jakarta.
This honorary arts and literature award is given by the French government to Indonesians who have contributed to the world of art and played a role in strengthening relations between France and Indonesia.
Maria Darmaningsih (second left), with Nungki Kusumastuti (second right) and Melina Surjadewi (left), speaks after being awarded the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres badge by French Ambassador to Indonesia Jean-Charles Berthonnet. (IFI Indonesia /File)
Previous receivers of this award include singer Anggun ( 2005 ), actress Christine Hakim ( 1991 ), scholar Adjie Damais ( 2015 ), film director Garin Nugroho ( 2016 ) and artist Sunaryo ( 2017 ).
French Ambassador to Indonesia and Timor Leste Jean-Charles Berthonnet presented the badge to Maria on Saturday. The badge pinning coincides with the closing of the 14th Indonesia Dance Festival (IDF), which Maria and a few others initiated in 1992.
IDF is an annual dance festival that encourages the emergence of talented young choreographers while also displaying the works of leading choreographers. This year, dancers and choreographers from eight countries, namely Indonesia, Mexico, France, India, Germany, Australia, South Korea and Singapore, participated.
Maria Darmaningsih began her career in the world of Indonesian traditional dance in the 1980s and continues to show consistency as a performer, choreographer, teacher and organizer of dance festivals. She has performed and taught at various foreign dance events, including the prestigious Biennale de Danse in Lyon, France, in 2010.
Some of the works Maria choreographed in her career are Langen Kusuma Warasthra (Yogyakarta, 1979), Bedaya Dewabrata (Jakarta, 1987), Ruwatan (the Netherlands, 1996) and The Lotus Blossom (Canada, 2000). (iru/kes)