Yogyakarta Wrap-up

imogiri4Whew, what an amazing three weeks!  The residency in Yogyakarta ended with a big performance by all of the students.  Viji’s kids did an amazing demonstration of Barata Natyam basic exercises followed by a dance honoring the elephant headed god Ganesha.  Craig’s students performed a medley of songs on their homemade instruments and Keali’i’s kids looked like Hawai’ian princes and princesses as they chanted and danced their hula.  I was very proud of my own students who performed arrangements of “Renshu” and “Matsuri”.  It was amazing to see how far all the students had come in just three weeks.  For more pictures take a look at Judy’s Picasa album.

This residency has been one of the most rewarding teaching experiences I’ve ever had and I have many people to thank.  A huge thank you goes out to Judy Mitoma for her vision and leadership in putting together this program.  Another big thank you goes out to our project coordinator Jeanne Park who did much of the on the ground organizing.  We had the most amazing support staff in Yogyakarta and a huge thank you goes out to: Heni, Daruni, Endah, Lantip, Very and Arip.  I also have to give a huge thank you to my translator Tony and driver Sigit who did everything for me including performing with the students!  And finally a big thank you goes out to Anne Grimes and the US State Department for funding this program.  It is great to know that our State Department funds these kinds of cultural exchange programs that create real bonds between cultures and promote mutual respect and understanding.

The second part of the fellowship happens in March when seven Indonesian fellows come to Los Angeles for three months.  They’ll be teaching at UCLA and have an opening concert on April 17th-18th at Glorya Kaufman Hall.  We were able to watch some rehearsals of the concert in Yogyakarta and you won’t want to miss this opporunity to see these amazing artists.  I’ll post more information as the date draws closer.

One Response to “Yogyakarta Wrap-up”

  1. kris says:

    Great work, Shoj! So glad to hear the program was a success. And glad to have you back!

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