Kalya Mahiya is proud of the honor of dancing with the Maestro of the Peacock Dance, Irawati Durban

113

Jakarta, IO – Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body- Martha Graham.

The sound of gamelan music played serenely on. More than a hundred dancers performed the Peacock Dance, which Master Irawati Durban had choreographed, on Saturday, June 10, 2023, at the Indonesian Museum in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, East Jakarta. They were dressed in bright costumes like peacock feathers, complete with a bird-shaped crown.

The dancers’ tops were also decorated with wings made of fabric. They swayed gracefully, turning their heads to the right and left, and their hands and bodies effortlessly danced to the tune of the gamelan. They danced and hypnotized the audience swarming the museum that afternoon.

The dancers performed “Pesona Rampak Tari Merak Sunda,” a collaborative work of Gema Citra Nusantara dance company with Taman Mini Indonesia Indah.

The dancers come from different communities and dance companies, including Gema Citra Nusantara, Aria Binangkit, Komunitas Perempuan Menari, Jakarta State University, Jakarta Institute of Art, Mojang Bandung, Al-Izhar School Pondok Labu, and Al-Ikhlas Islamic School.

The Chairperson of Gema Citra Nusantara, Mira Marina Arismunandar, explained that the “Pesona Rampak Tari Merak Sunda” dancing event was dedicated to Irawati Durban, a dance teacher and maestro. “Mrs. Irawati Durban hopes that UNESCO will recognize the Peacock Dance (which she choreographed) as a World Intangible Heritage. Currently, the Peacock Dance is recognized as a national intangible heritage,” according to Mira.

Mira wished the dance event would promote the Peacock Dance to a wider Indonesian audience. “We must cherish this Peacock Dance, and it will do us proud as Indonesians,” she said. Irawati Durban, who has been in dance and art for 58 years, was deeply moved. “This is amazing. I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” said the 80-year-old dancer.

Irawati admitted that popularizing the Peacock Dance was not easy. “It is still difficult to find sponsors, both from the government and the private sector, if you want to organize an event. Especially to those intending to learn the Sundanese dances. Let alone the fact that the Peacock Dance has not yet been officially recognized by UNESCO. So, let’s shout to the dance to get UNESCO’s attention,” she said.

Irawati expected the Peacock Dance could take part in any annual event. Irawati believes that the Merak Dance will become an annual event in the future, involving Peacock Dance performances on varied topics to demonstrate a passion for culture. Bringing culture to life and grow love toward a culture for the next generation.