Sunday, April 13th, 2014 | New York City
Several Indonesian groups, Saung Budaya dance performancers, Permias NYC student network, the Tri-state Indonesian Diaspora Network, and the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia, New York, came together this afternoon to hold an exciting and important event. “From New York To Indonesia, A Benefit for The Victims of The Mount Kelud and Sinabung Eruption.”
After four centuries of silence, the Sinabung volcano in North Sumatra, Indonesia has erupted last year. A few months later on 13 February, Mount Kelud in East Java followed spewing ashes and volcanic debris. At least 45 people have died, 31 of whom were staying in poorly managed temporary shelters. Thousands of people have been evacuated out of the danger zone. Many buildings and schools were severely damaged. The shelters still lack basic water and sanitation facilities. Many people are displaced. They need our help.
This fundraising event featured
- performances by Saung Budaya Indonesian Dance Group,
- classical piano by Aryo Wicaksono
- traditional music performance by Gamelan Kusuma Laras
- beautiful singing by Kia Suban, a talented and marvelous singer hailed all the way from Jakarta, Indonesia
- and a raffle and auction to raise funds.
The event was hosted by The Consulate General of Indonesia in New York (KJRI), 5 East 68th St. All funds collected will directly benefit the volcano victims, and the event was a wonderful success! Many thanks to the organizers, sponsors, performers, the Consul General and all participants!
The afternoon began with an introduction by the Consul General, the Honorable Ghafur Akbar Dharmaputra, who welcomed all in attendance to Indonesia, and to be transported to the other side of the world… He encouraged all in attendance to visit Indonesia, if they have not yet had the opportunity, or to go for their first time to visit this beautiful and unique country whose geographical footprint extends the equivalent length as that from Alaska to Florida!
The Saung Budaya dance troupe, founded in 2005 and dedicated to sharing Indonesian dance and music, performed several pieces throughout the afternoon, representing traditional dances from throughout the islands of Sumatra and Java. The selections of Tari Saman ”Dance of a thousand hands” and Randai/Tari Piring “Plate dance,” both representing Sumatra, were the pieces to begin and end the event. Tari Saman, from Banda Aceh in the North, featured a fast-paced rhythm and beautiful live a cappella accompaniment by one of the Saung Budaya singers. In the Randai/Piring performance, from West Sumatra, the dance was accompanied with live music, including the traditional flutes and drums of the Minang people, and all of the dancer vocalized at throughout the piece. The movements transitioned from Randai, traditional theater, to Piring, the plate dance, with the dancers throwing the plates to the floor at the end of the piece, shattering them. In traditional performances in West Sumatra, dancers often continue to dance and step on top of the shattered glass pieces at the end of the performance.
Interspersed between the dance numbers were additional live music performances, including classical Indonesian piano playing, a selection of Javanese Gamelan by the Kusuma Laras ensemble based at KJRI, and singing by one of Indonesia’s rising popular music stars. Attendees had the opportunity to bid on a variety of Indonesian-themed gift items, ranging from Batik scarves and table cloths to vouchers for staying at one of Jakarta’s luxury hotels, the Dharmawangsa Hotel. All proceeds from the afternoon go to Pusat Krisis crisis center at the University of Indonesia.
Please see below for a collection of images from the afternoon’s festivities.