Head of Belantara Budaya Foundation Diah Kusumawardhani Wijayanti. (JG Photo/Diella Yasmine)

Mass Dance Performance Enlivens Kartini Day Celebrations in Jakarta


APRIL 21, 2018

Jakarta. To celebrate Kartini Day on Saturday (21/04), Belantara Budaya Foundation staged "1,000 National Kartinis," a mass performance involving 1,000 artists from the greater Jakarta area, at CGV Grand Indonesia in Central Jakarta.

Dressed in traditional costumes, 1,000 performers of all ages from Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi presented traditional dances and music.

One thousand dancers from Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi participate in the '1,000 National Kartinis' dance event in South Jakarta on Saturday (21/04). (JG Photo/Diella Yasmine)

"Tari Ronggeng," a dance from West Java, kicked off the event followed by angklung music and national songs such as "Indonesia Tanah Air Beta," "Cublak-Cublak Suweng," "Sue Ora Jamu" and "Angin Mamiri."

The dancers arrived at the CGV cinema hall in their colorful dresses and invited everyone to dance along giant Betawi ondel-ondel effigies to the tune "Sirih Kuning." The performance ended with Batak dance "Tor-Tor."

Head of Belantara Budaya Foundation, Diah Kusumawardhani Wijayanti, said the event aimed to encourage the young generation to love and preserve traditional Indonesian dances.

"We have a strong commitment to keep and preserve Indonesia's cultural heritage. In the spirit of Kartini, we also want to spread the message of unity in diversity."

Diah said the event is held to spread positive influences and encourage the younger generation to be proud of their culture.

Passionate Dancer

Diah Kusumawardhani Wijayanti. (JG Photo/Diella Yasmine)

In the past few years, Diah has been grooming young dancers for the future of Indonesia's dance scene. Her foundation trains children for free.

"I am sad that many teenagers in Indonesia, especially in Jakarta, have not been involved in performing traditional dances, let alone preserving them. With many modern cultures coming in, it's easy for our traditional cultures to be forsaken. The foundation also aims to raise awareness about this problem."

Belantara Budaya Foundation now runs five schools in Jakarta, one in East Nusa Tenggara and one in Bandung. Soon it will also come to Cirebon in West Java and Surabaya in East Java.

Encouraging Young People to Dance

Theresia Desy Intan, a young dancer and member of Belantara Budaya Foundation, said it is important to encourage her peers to preserve traditional Indonesian dances.

"We are blessed to have many unique cultures. We cannot hide them behind modern culture which is mostly influenced by the West."

Having learnt traditional dances since kindergarten, Theresia dreams to introduce Indonesian culture to the world.

"I want to let my friends know that it is cool to love our culture. I want them to follow suit."