Jakarta, IO – Many people claim that they desire to bring international fame to Indonesia, but not many people put their money where their mouth is. One of the few who actually walk the walk after talking the talk is Kalya Mahiya Pravina.
A student in Al Izhar Islamic Middle School Pondok Labu, Jakarta, Kalya is living proof that Indonesian youngsters will continue to work and achieve great things despite what many people say about “Gen Z”. With so many dancing achievements won inside and outside of Indonesia, she can be proud that she has helped build our country’s international reputation in the arts. “I am really happy and grateful. It is an honor for me to be able to uphold Indonesia’s reputation in international forums,” she declared.
For our part, the Independent Observer is grateful to have this special opportunity to talk with her. Even though she is only 13, Kalya’s tender age does not stop her from making spectacular achievement in dance, especially in traditional Indonesian dances. In just this one year, Kalya earned multiple solo and group wins: she won the Solo Folk Dance 1st prize in the Portugal Art Carnival, as well as 1st prize for the 13-14 year-old category; 1st winner in the Alpus Cup Renaissance Traditional Dance Competition; 1st Prize in the Folk Dance and Music category of “Under The Hot UEA Sun” International Festival Online Competition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and 1st Prize in the 11-14 year-old International Solo Traditional Folk Dance category of the “Welcome To Canada” Online Festival and Competition in Toronto, Canada.
Winning multiple first prizes in several world class dancing competitions was not an instant, sudden achievement: Kalya worked hard for it. “I practice my dancing consistently. To get a single dance routine right from top to bottom, I usually take 4-6 sessions. I generally practice dancing twice a week, with each session taking me 2-3 hours. When I have a competition coming up, I will take more time to focus more on practicing the dance I will dance in that event,” she said.
Kalya declares that her love of dancing, especially Indonesian traditional dances, is what enables her to master various types of dancing easily. “I have mastered several dancing styles and dances, and I know many traditional Indonesian dances – the ‘Burung Enggang’ dance, the Mask dance, the Fan dance, the ‘Ratoh Jaroe’ dance, and the ‘Plate’ dance. I find the ‘Ratoh Jaroe’ to be most difficult, because you must sing the melody while you dance. Get one thing wrong, everything turns into a mess. It requires an extremely high level of concentration to do right, let alone master,” she said.
Kalya went on to admit that the three principles of dancing challenge her and bolster her in her efforts to practice and learn dances: “Dancing is an expression of the human soul, expressed succinctly in the three Javanese terms ‘wiraga’, ‘wirama’, and ‘wirasa’. ‘Wiraga’ is the physical technique performed by the dancer’s whole body, both difficult and easy. ‘Wirama’ is the rhythm, the harmony that the dancer needs to achieve between the music and her movements. And finally, ‘wirasa’ is the feeling, the sense, the soul and concept that the dancer seeks to express in her movements. Harmonizing between wiraga, wirama, and wirasa is a constant challenge faced by all dancers,” she said.