Thu, 29 Dec 2005


Recreating culture: A spectrum of spectacles

Throughout the year, Indonesia's diversity -- whether seen in its ethnic cultures or in its cultural forms -- has found the spotlight on a variety of stages. At the same time, the country's audiences have been treated to performers and groups from abroad, resulting in a true spirit of cultural exchange.

From the Java Jazz festival to the Jakarta International Film Festival, from the Utan Kayu to the Ubud literary festivals, from exhibitions of local artists abroad and to the CP Biennale, and to all the budding productions and exhibits across the archipelago, Indonesia's arts scene has brimmed over to make a mark, nationally and internationally, mostly through private and individual means.

Here, we take a look at some of the performances that have graced the year -- and through them, at the country's potential in the year ahead for defining -- and recognizing -- its own unique cultural scene as a fusion of the traditional and the contemporary, the indigenous and the foreign.

-- The Jakarta Post

Photo A: JP/R. Bertho Wedhatama

WHOLE LOTTA HEART: Godfather of Soul James Brown heats up Jakarta during the Java Jazz Festival at the Jakarta Convention Center from March 4 to 6. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales were donated to tsunami victims in Aceh.

Photo C: JP/P.J. Leo

SPIRITUAL GRACE: Dancers of South Korea's Didim Dance Company stage a traditional dance during the 4th Schouwburg Festival 2005 at the Jakarta Arts Institute (GKJ). The festival, from Sept. 8 through Sept. 29, aimed to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the institute.

Photo D: JP/P.J. Leo

MIME A LA INDONESIA: Contemporary pantomime group Sena Didi Mime was among the dozens of local and foreign performance groups featured during the 4th Schouwburg Festival 2005, and presented a Western art form with a distinctly Indonesian interpretation.

Photo E: JP/P.J. Leo

TRIBAL WEALTH: Papua tribesman perform a traditional dance during the Kamoro festival. Also called Kamoro Kakuru, the festival, which was held from Sept. 29 though Oct. 2 this year, preserves the cultural heritage of the Kamoro in showing visitors the richness of their culture.

Photo F: JP/P.J. Leo

ASIAN FUSION: An Okinawan performing group beat shime-daiko (small drums) in accompaniment to China's cheng beng dance in Eisai Medley at Taman Ismail Marzuki, Central Jakarta. The eclectic performance from Japan was part of the Art Suku II Kencan Budaya Nusantara festival, held from Nov. 17 through Nov. 19.

Photo G: JP/P.J. Leo

CHAIN OF CONTINUITY: Dancers of Riau's Talang Mamak tribe stage a traditional dance during the Art Suku II Kencan Budaya Nusantara festival, a tribute to preserving the nation's cultural heritage.