Cast as Roekiah, the Indonesian diva

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Louise Monique, singer

Jakarta, IO – Collaborating with Louise Monique, Galeri Indonesia Kaya presented a profound production for art enthusiasts on the weekend: “Kenang-kenangan Roekiah” captures the works of the Indonesian Diva, Roekiah, a big name in the 1930s. 

Kenang-kenangan Roekiah was held on Saturday, January 23, 2024, at the Galeri Indonesia Kaya auditorium at 3 PM and 7 PM. With two showtimes, Indonesia Kaya hoped that art lovers would come and enjoy the show. 

Renitasari Adrian, Program Director of Galeri Indonesia Kaya, said, “This week, we invite art lovers to reminisce about the Indonesian diva renowned by the Indonesian people in the colonial era. Through Kenang-kenangan Roekiah, we want to bring art enthusiasts back to the history of Miss Roekiah, who was an inspirational and valuable figure in Indonesian music and film development. Through her works, Miss Roekiah has inspired many Indonesian women over time. Not only is it entertaining, but we also hope that the production at Galeri Indonesia Kaya can introduce and broaden the insight of art enthusiasts, who are dominated by a younger generation.” 

For about sixty minutes, Louise Monique took the audience back to Roekiah’s golden era. Louise performed a number of Roekiah’s popular songs, such as Sampai Hati, Bunga Mawar, Pulau Moetaroe and many others. Besides the singing performance, the production, which was written and directed by Chriskevin Adefrid, used a set depicting Roekiah’s dressing room and retold Roekiah’s life story and struggle as a musician and actress who starred in several famous films of her time. 

Roekiah was the first Indonesian woman to achieve success in music and film. She started her career as a child, singing and acting by joining her parents’ shows. She then participated in the “Palestinian Opera in Batavia” and sang with the music band Lief Java, which was famous at that time. It was also the band in which Indonesia’s great composer Ismail Marzuki started his musical career. 

Roekiah was beloved by the public for her soft yet soulful voice. In 1937, she began her road to success in the film industry. Her popularity grew after playing as the main lead in a hit movie, “Terang Boelan”. 

“This is not the first time I have acted and sung songs made famous by Roekiah. Previously, I played Miss Roekiah in the Payung Fantasi Musical Series presented by Indonesia Kaya. It was an honor for me to reintroduce Roekiah to the art lovers at Galeri Indonesia Kaya. To play the character of Roekiah again is a very memorable experience, because I can entertain art enthusiasts and promote important names and works from the history of Indonesian art. Hopefully, Kenang-kenangan Roekiah can reintroduce Miss Roekiah to the public,” hoped Louise Monique.

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Louise Monique is a singer from a band called Deredia, playing the 1950s music genre. Music has become a part of her since childhood. While growing up in Tembagapura, her father introduced her to various types of music. Louise began studying music at Yayasan Pendidikan Musik (YPM) and Gita Svara, which then led her to join the Susvara Opera Company and the Indonesian National Orchestra. She also starred in several Teater Koma musical productions, such as Sie Jin Kwie, Ibu, Demonstran and Inspektur Jendral. 

In 2019, Louise participated in Indonesia Kaya’s program, “Indonesia Menuju Broadway” (Indonesia Going to Broadway). The year 2022 marked her first time performing in a musical theater production. Louise also played “Roekiah” in the Payung Fantasi Musical Series presented by Indonesia Kaya and “Joanne” in a musical, “RENT”, with TEMAN Musicals. Besides joining Deredia, Louise currently also works with Sri Panggung, a music trio under Indonesia Kaya. (*/rp)