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Ballet in Batavia: Bold and beautiful

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak

The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta  /  Mon, December 30, 2019  /  01:36 pm
Ballet in Batavia: Bold and beautiful

Eye-opener: Students of SMKN 57 tourism vocational high school in Jakarta majoring in Betawi traditional dance perform a ballet number called ‘The Miracle of 8’. They joined a workshop with British ballet master Andrew Greenwood who choreographed the dance. (Courtesy of Jakarta Arts Council/Eva Tobing)

A dozen dancers performed what seemed to be a contemporary ballet, gracefully moving in slow steps with their arms outstretched. But there was something else in their movements: the hands. Their wrists and fingers moved in the manner of Indonesian traditional dance, making a full circle counterclockwise. The dancers were students of SMKN 57 tourism vocational high school in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, who majored in traditional Betawi dance. They took an intensive workshop with British ballet master Andrew Greenwood who choreographed The Miracle of 8 for the Jakarta Arts Council (DKJ) program, Ballet in Batavia. The show was a bold crossover between ballet and Betawi dance, but it was more than just an experiment. The theme was chosen for the Telisik Tari (Examining Dance) program this year with the purpose of introducing both dances to artists and performers, as well as to ...