Jakarta. One of Indonesia's few semi-professional ballet companies, Namarina Youth Dance, or NYD, presented a dazzling showcase titled "Dancing for the Future" to a full-house audience at Goethe Haus in Menteng, Central Jakarta, on Sunday (22/04).
The show incorporated three generations of dancers from a company that has carried the torch for serious ballet in Indonesia since 2006.
This was the sixth show held by NYD’s DanceScape, that has been responsible for a series of artistic, educational and collaborative programs.
The previous DanceScape event was "Mari Menari" (Let's Dance), a short dance workshop for schoolchildren held with Kompas Gramedia and Bentara Budaya Jakarta in 2016.
NYD itself was established in 2006 when Namarina — the dance academy — celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Artistic director and school principal Maya Tamara said NYD is expected to be a fully professional company by 2025.
Dancing for the Future communicated that goal. Its sub-title, "Persistence in Diversity," reflected Namarina’s headstrong approach for over 60 years to train multi-ethnic dancers to follow its unique, hybrid repertoire that weaves together ballet, jazz and Indonesian dances.
The show at Goethe Haus began with a lively opening dance by some of the youngest ballet students from the academy.
Later on, the kids also performed another piece called "The Future" choreographed by their senior ballet instructor, Sussi Anddri.
As the title suggests, the young ballet dancers symbolized Namarina's ambition for the future.
The highlight of the show was a piece by Dinar Karina called "Tradikal," performed by 12 NYD dancers.
The same piece was performed in 2016 at Namarina’s 60th anniversary.
The east-meets-west routine combines ballet and traditional Indonesian dances.
It started with a contemplative, graceful dance by ballerinas wearing silky peach gowns and flower headpieces.
Their moves combined classical ballet techniques and Balinese dance.
They took turns with dancers in batik outfits whose moves were more high-powered.
When the two groups danced together, different moves inspired by Sundanese Jaipong joined the fray.
A solo by Soraya Nathasya in Tradikal, during which she displayed some fierce fouetté turns, drew huge applause from the audience.
The NYD dancers also performed "Aku dan Waktu" (Time and I), a new number by Sussi Anddri soundtracked by fusion group Rhythm Salad League.
The show ended with a sassy jazz dance before an intimate Q&A session with the dancers and choreographers.
Maya said Namarina’s ultimate goal is to become the first professional ballet company in Indonesia.
As the piece Tradikal showed, the company wants to incorporate more elements of Indonesian dances into its brand of ballet.
Dinar said Namarina's ambition goes even further: it wants to invent a new kind of ballet.
"We are rooted in classical ballet, but we live in Indonesia. What we’ve been dreaming of is to create a form of 'Indonesian ballet,' using ballet techniques in dance numbers with a distinctly Indonesian character," she said.