Sambasunda Down Under 2007
A major achievement for AIAA in March 2007 has been the successful undertaking of the Sambasunda Tour of Australia and New Zealand coordinated by tour manager Alison Pearl assisted by AIAA National Coordinator Judy Shelley with great help and assistance from AIAA President Malia Ritaningsih as well as many other AIAA members and friends. Sambasunda have now made their first visit Down Under, having been honored with an invitation to perform at WOMADelaide and WOMAD NZ.
With the help of Malia and Andrew Ross, Director of the Brisbane Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sambasunda’s Australian debut performance was held as the first joint production of Brisbane Powerhouse and the Judith Wright Centre.
Other major events included participation in the FINA World Championship Arts Festival in Melbourne, Sydney performance at the Indonesian Consulate presented by Pasundan Sundanese Community and at local Sydney schools. The highlight of the tour was possibly the NZ Indonesian Embassy’s Malam Indonesia/ Cocktail party held in Auckand with the wonderful assistance of Mamon Baboe and the NZ Indonesia Association.
Sambasunda is Indonesia’s foremost World Music Touring group who have toured extensively in Indonesia and internationally. In March, 17 musicians and dancers visited Australia, many of them for the first time. Sambausnda is a large group, which fills the stage with a variety of traditional instruments, and so touring is a complex business, with their large quantity of unique Sundanese instruments, traditional drums, flutes, string instruments and various gongs. Sambasunda originate from Bandung, which has a vibrant music scene, and many of the members are graduates of STSI, (Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia), the arts university.
Their debut tour of Europe in 2003, and another in autumn 2005 were very successful because of their extraordinary musicianship and their high-energy performance style. SambaSunda have marketed their music in Europe and the UK, as well as Indonesia.
During 2006-2007 AIAA provided a number of excellent Indonesian school activities for schools in NSW and Queensland. AIAA organized an Indonesian Extravaganza Day at Nth Ryde Public School during 2007. Sincere appreciation to Alfira O’Sullivan, Judy Shelley and Mike Burns for presenting a wonderful workshop and concert program including Sumatran dance, Javanese gamelan, Balinese and Javanese dance, Sundanese music and Sumatran martial arts. Aftrer a one hour workshop all 100 children involved in the project were able to present their own music and dance performances to the rest of the students.
Other school activities included performances by Sambasunda at Macarthur Anglican School and Scots College in Sydney during March, as well as Malia Ritaningsih AIAA President initiating the Salam Budaya Kawula Day of Indonesian activities for schools throughout Brisbane, as part of the Festival Nusantara at Brisbane Powerhouse in cooperation with MLTAQ.
Asialink Conference and Nusantara Forum
Two major forums on Asian/Indonesian/Australian cultural relations were held at Brisbane Powerhouse during 2007 – the Great Leap Forum and the Nusantara Festival Forum. At these events AIAA National Coodinator and Board members were able to speak out and network on behalf of all Indonesian cultural organizations and artists – demanding a greater level of funding and respect for Indonesian artists, organsations, teachers etc
Asialink Arts annual forums are the main avenue for cross media discussion on issues of pertinence in Australia-Asia cultural relations. The Forum provided the opportunity for arts practitioners and organizations to participate in policy development and discussion about Australia and Asian arts practice in a forum featuring specialists from Asia as well as Australia.
The Inspirasi Team – AIAA National Coordinator Judy Shelley and Web Site Coordinator Carole Chapman were responsible for the production of Inspirasi Magazine during 2006-07 covering reportage of Indonesian cultural events taking place throughout Australia and Indonesia. Many contributions were provided by AIAA National Secretary Cynthia Webb and AIAA members throughout Australia and Indonesia. Carole Chapman has spent many hours creating php script for Inspirasi which now allows members of the Inspirasi Team to input into the Magazine more easily.
Many thanks to AIAA Vice President Dharma Bradridge and partner Bunny Calero who have been coordinating and teaching the AIAA Salendro gamelan group for adults and workshops for children. The AIAA Salendro Gamelan group has performed and supported many community events in Northern NSW and the Gold Coast such as Peace Day, The Beggars Banquet, Byron Writers Festival and many more. Congratulations to the Salendro Gamelan musicians for their success. The Salendro Gamelan has also been used for children’s workshops and Indonesian schools camps by Judy Shelley and Dharma Bradridge in Evans Head, Mullumbimby, Gold Coast and Brisbane.
Suara Indonesia Radio Show
Suara Indonesia has now been on air for approx 20 years. The program was first initiated by Tjintana Matahari and was then passed on to AIAA about 10 years ago. It is now coordinated by AIAA National Vice President Dharma Bradridge and Kirana Talip, who both became fully trained presenters by training through the AIAA Work for the Dole Program. Suara Indonesia continues to present many hours of interesting live interviews, CD reviews news and Indonesian community events for the community of the NSW North Coast and beyond. The program is streaming live every Wednesday 12-2pm at www.bayfm.org
The AIAA Board and National Coodinator support many other organizations, artists and AIAA members with information, advice, support letters and guidance for their projects as well as taking community action and fundraising. Some examples of AIAA support and involvement in and support for other organizations and events during 2006-07 included:
Bali Bomb Victims
During 2006-07 AIAA has continued to assist one of the most severely injured survivors of the Bali Bombing. Ibu Chusnul Chotimah. AIAA has held a number of fundraising raffles during this time which has resulted in money raised to buy burn creams and an amount of $400 being sent to Ibu Chusnul. AIAA networking also resulted in Ibu Chusnul being offered ongoing medical care (further skin grafts and operations) in Bali. Many thanks to all the businesses who contributed prizes and Judy Shelley for organizing raffles.
AIAA National President Malia Ritaningsih was very involved with the initiation, planning and undertaking of the inaugural Festival Nusantara presented by the Powerhouse Arts Centre, Brisbane during 2007. Malia assisted the Powerhouse in creating significant contacts and networking with artists and major government and non-government organizations in Australia and Indonesia in order to gain support for Festival Nusantara. Malia also initiated the Salam Budaya Kawula Day of school activities, as part of the Festival in conjunction with MLTAQ (Modern Language Teachers
Association of QLD) and Brisbane Powerhouse.
Banda Aceh Patients
During April 2007, 2 sisters from Banda Aceh, aged 8 & 9 arrived in Brisbane to have major operations at the Royal Children Hospital, Burns Unit. The girls were accompanied by their parents. The girls were suffering burns contractures to their faces, hands & legs.
AIAA President Malia Ritaningsih was approached by Judith Percy, Carer’s coordinator from the Rotary organisation called ROMAC (Reaching Overseas Medical Aid to children). Malia has made a long –term commitment to assist ROMAC with supporting the children and their families while in Brisbane.
Bali Fusion Group
During 2007 AIAA member Richard Kaal invited the Bali Fusion gender group from Gianyar Bali to join him at the Wintermoon Festival in the Sunshine Coast.
Richard is an Australian musician recording a library of traditional Balinese music, living on Gunung Batukaru in Tabanan, Bali. He has been working with Yayasan Suara Dana, writing new music in collaboration with Gender and Salonding.
AIAA was able to provide Richard with support, information and advice for the Bali Fusion tour as well as providing an impromptu barbeque lunch at Wategoes Beach when the group visited Byron Bay.
Step Into Ubud
AIAA members provided support, promotion and advice to Dr David Miller, author of the Step Into Ubud travel guide book launch held at the Byron Writers Festival. AIAA member Made Coblyn provided Balinese offerings while Dharma and the Salendro Gamelan provided traditional live music and entertainment.
Step into Ubud is a book for travelers contemplating any Asian destination, not just Bali, for value and culture, people who are daunted by safety and health issues, yet still want an enriching travel experience. This book provides a step-by-step guide to maximising enjoyment and avoiding problems, and with its more general information on subjects such as how to stay healthy and assemble a first aid kit, it is a useful guide to traveling Asia-wide, not just in Bali.
Many Thanks to AIAA major sponsors during 2006-07 including the Australia Indonesia Institute, Community Broadcasting Foundation, Garuda Airlines NZ, Womadelaide and Womad NZ
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