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'Dekat': Discovering contemporary ballet

Dwita Nugrahanti

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, July 24, 2018  /  09:14 am
'Dekat': Discovering contemporary ballet

In synch: Two Ballet Sumber Cipta dancers, utilizing only a transparent plastic sheet as a prop, move fluidly and in perfect harmony. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)

Kreativität Dance Indonesia presents four contemporary dance numbers, each conveying a different meaning, as part of its biannual show.

Long transparent sheets of plastic hung above the stage, illuminated by blue lights. In front, an audience watched the slow motions of four dancers. Then the stage turned dark.

When the sheets were lifted slightly, one dancer walked slowly to the stage, with a long sheet in her hand. Other dancers appeared one by one, interacting with her and the transparent sheet, dancing under violet lights.

The four dancers, clad in black outfits, were Winda Batangtaris, Ida Ayu Rasthiti, Cherubine Gabriela and Nudiandra Sarasvati. With fluid motions, they interacted with each other, performing contemporary ballet numbers for a show at Teater Kecil hall at the Taman Ismail Marzuki arts center in Central Jakarta.

The dance, titled Transparent, portrayed honesty, sincerity and straightforwardness. Transparent was one of four performances staged during the show put on by Kreativität Dance Indonesia and Ballet Sumber Cipta dancers.

The four dances were created by different choreographers, and conveyed different meanings and intentions.

Kreativität Dance Indonesia holds dance performances every two years. This year, the event was called “Dekat” (Near), which, according to the event’s producer Aksan Sjuman, represented the ballet troupe’s motto — “not to create something, but to discover something”.

Ballet Sumber Cipta was first established by the late Bolshoi-trained ballerina Farida Oetoyo in 1959, and after her passing in 2014, it was continued by Arya Yudistira Syuman.

At the event, Arya also performed a solo dance titled Near and choreographed a dance titled Upik Abu.

He said he was inspired by his personal experiences. “Near could mean that it is something that is close to me or someone that is dear to my heart,” Arya explained.

His performance was also inspired by everyday movements, from drinking coffee to fixing his shirt. “I got help from many people to create this dance piece. My schoolmates challenged me to combine everyday movements with contemporary dance,” Arya said.

He expressed hope the audience would appreciate their creations and enjoy the performances. “As this is something that is meaningful to us, we hope people can relate to these performances,” Arya said.

As producer, Aksan explained that through the event, they aimed to present a form of contemporary dance that was rooted in ballet and incorporated theater.

He said he was also considering the possibility of incorporating contemporary ballet with traditional pieces. “I think it is unnecessary to give an ‘Indonesian flavor’ to contemporary ballet because they are different and people have their own preferences and taste,” Aksan said.

 The writer is an intern at The Jakarta Post.

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