Wednesday, July 18, 2012

SAMAN DANCE on Cultural Exchange of AISEC Students

Last Sunday, July 15, 2012, I went biking by myself. Even though the temperature is hot enough, I still pushed my pedal since this coming Sunday is fasting or Ramadhan for Moslems. I don’t go biking in the morning due to being dehydrated for the temperature.

I was lucky when I passed a certain area—called KB Park—there was an event, a cultural exchange by AISEC students around the world. A friend of mine who happened to be one of the exchanged students told me that he would perform there. The event started at 8 o’clock in the morning. When I passed KB park, I heard a cheerful song sung by a female student. I got closer to find out, and I saw a rhythmic dance called Saman dance. What is Saman dance? Here is a short explanation about Saman dance taken from Wikipedia

Saman (or dance of thousand hands) is one of the most popular dances in Indonesia. Its origin is from the Gayo ethnic group from Gayo Lues and is normally performed to celebrate important occasions.[1]
This dance is done by a group in one line (sometimes with some displacement) and dancers perform while kneeling.

On November 24, 2011 UNESCO officially recognized Aceh's traditional Saman Dance as an intangible element of world cultural heritage, which needs UNESCO's urgent protection.[2]

The ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) named on Saman Dance as the best ASEAN cultural preservation effort at the 25th ASEANTA Awards for Excellence 2012.[3]

Another information about this traditional dance is many high schools in Jakarta have it as one of curriculum in their school. That’s why, I found many students of mine from Jakarta who studied in my town (Semarang) could perform this dance.

Here are the pictures I took on the Cultural Exchange of AISEC students

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Venice-like building

This is a place located somewhere near Johar traditional market. I'm not really sure of what building is now for. One thing for sure that this building has European architecture. It's a pity that Semarang local governement doesn't do anything to this building. It reminded me of a place in Venice. :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

De Drie Baritons, incredible voice from Netherland

Frankly, I haven’t heard anything about them before I saw their ticket in my friend’s facebook. However, I decided to watch their performance. Actually, another reason for me is the place where they were going to perform is an old building with thousands of creepy stories, Lawang Sewu or a thousand Door-Building.  Its strategic place in the heart of the town is just within distance to my house. So, what else could stop me from watching it?

After getting the ticket in Widya Mitra, a place offering Dutch course, my niece, a friend and I went to Lawang Sewu. The stage was simple completed with spotlight located in front of some rows of seats for audience. My first expectation was this concert would be accompanied by a team of orchestra players, but, what I got was just a stage with 3 microphones and 2 seats. So, where would the instruments be placed? Ika, a friend of mine takes violin course recently, so she expected to see some violinists playing on the stage. She would take the energy from them as her motivation. But?

Sunday, April 15, 2012. at 7.30 PM, the MC opened the concert. I thought, since the performers are from Netherland, and Widya Mitra as a Dutch course, the concert would be held in Dutch. Moreover, I heard some audience speaking Dutch that really made me lost. Thanks God, that the MC spoke in Bahasa and de Drie Baritons singers greeted us in English. Yay, I was not lost anymore. My curiosity about the instrument finally got its answer: they used playback for the concert. Owh, I see.

In the entrance, we got the list of songs they were going to perform. From the list, I tried to recognize some of them that I might be familiar with. I found only few, Perhaps Love, Sway, To All The Girls I love Before while some others I might have known but the text seemed incorrectly typed. The titles I mentioned before were songs I listened once in a while. I was quite not sure since the songs I knew are not opera songs. That made me even more curious.

As soon as de Drie Baritons were on stage, they greeted in Bahasa, Selamat Malam (Good evening). They expressed how happy they were being invited in Indonesia, particularly in Semarang. The first song was Italiaans medley. Listening to their voice made me out of breath. Fyi, I’ve never been in such concert before. Their voice, song, and the place that has European architecture really did a great spell on me. I almost forgot to take a breath. Lol.

The following songs they performed still made the audience out their breath. Some distractions happened, though. The microphone sometimes went on and off. One of the singers made a joke that the building has a lot of creepy stories. And the ‘dwellers’ were distracting them. Lol. Thanks God, the distraction only happened when they talked to each other and to audience. Oya, they expressed among others admiration before they met and set up a group.

Some pop songs like Perhaps Love, To All The Girls I love Before were performed in half pop and half opera. How about Sway, the swing jazzy song? They even danced along the song. Wow…  the last two songs were written You’ll Never and Amigos in the text. I did expect that the two songs were songs I’m familiar with. Before they were about to say goodbye, they performed the songs I was curious about. And……….. wow…. They performed You’ll Never Walk Alone, a song with a lot of versions. And another last..last song….. my heart fell when they sang Amigos Para Siempre (Friends for Life). No one could sit still but gave them a standing ovation…

I went home, feeling satisfied and looked for another free classical concert.