Thursday, May 27, 2010

Betawi Culture Performed in Russia

To commemorate 60 years of Indonesia and Russia’s diplomatic relations, the Jakarta Culture and Art Group is participating in three cities in Russia: Moscow, Tver and St. Petersburg. The program titled “The Colors of Indonesia" will take place from May 24 to May 31.

The Jakarta Tourism and Culture Office chief, Arie Budhiman, said his office had brought along 10 dancers, five musicians, and one choreographer, coordinated by Nungki Kusumastuti from the Jakarta Institute of Art (IKJ). Arie said the Betawi art and culture team’s first performance was held on Monday at the Moscow Concert Hall, which seats 800 people.

“The Betawi culture amazed the audience,” Arie told Tempo by telephone from Tver this morning. The team performed the “Kembang Topeng” (Flower Mask) dance, a new Betawi dance created by Ayoub Zykra especially for the event, as well as a religious dance titled “Zapin” and a contemporary dance from IKJ titled “Time to Open, Time to Close.”

The Jakarta Tourism and Culture Office chief in charge of Foreign Promotions, Hari Wibowo, said the team also performed a national dance from Aceh, “Saman”, which was highly applauded by the audience. Also attending the event was the Indonesian Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Hamid Awaluddin.

Hari said a cultural team from Yogyakarta and the Cantika Dance Workshop from the Indonesian Culture and Tourism Ministry also took part in the festival. Three local designers Didi Budihardjo, Tuty Cholid, and Stephanus Hamy, also exhibited their batik, woven, and embroidery collection shown by Russian and Indonesian models.

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