(Sumber foto: The Jakarta Post)
F.X. Widaryanto’s autobiography Catatan Tiada Henti (Endless Notes) features simple and flowing narratives, making it an interesting read.
The author, who is a doctor of arts and a senior dance lecturer at Bandung’s Institute of Indonesian Arts and Culture (ISBI), formerly called the Indonesian/ASTI Academy of Dance, told his story when he was invited to share his knowledge with other academics at the Residential College of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the United States. The assignment lasted from Sept. 3, 2010, to April 30, 2011.
One of the highlights in the book was the story of when he started a Javanese gamelan workshop during an ethnomusicology class at the University of Michigan’s North Campus.
The gamelan rhythms are usually slow and gentle, which is very different from the fast-paced American music culture.
But the difference is something that student participants, most of whom were foreign to gamelan, found interesting. At first, these students did not dare to beat the gamelan loudly because they were afraid of hitting the wrong tone, but over time they found their mojo slowly with the gamelan instruments.
Other than gamelan, Widaryanto also teaches traditional Indonesian dances with some additional choreography.
In the book, the author shared his experiences introducing the shaman dance from Aceh, Nias Island’s war and inang dances, Riau’s zapin dance, Kalimantan’s belian dayak benuaq healing dance, Sulawesi’s serep api — which shows immunity over fire — Jakarta’s Betawi mask dance and the baris gede and barong rangda dances from Bali.
The results of Widaryanto’s work in the US is now evident with more and more foreign students becoming interested in learning gamelan and traditional Indonesian dance.
Another interesting section in the book is the story of how Widaryanto and another dance expert, Sardono W. Kusumo, collaborated to develop the concept of a community college in the arts scene that involved Indonesian and American students.
The concept included a student exchange, the creation of an arts education system based on creativity and the creation of arts knowledge. This autobiography, which portrays the journey and experience of sharing art with foreign students in the US, is one way to globalize the community college concept to preserve and develop arts.
'Catatan Tiada Henti' (Endless Notes)
Author: F.X. Widaryanto
Publisher: Postgraduate IKJ, Jakarta, 2019
Size: 470 pages, 13 x 20 cm
Notes: 613 words
Diakses pada: Senin, 02 Maret 2020 Pukul 09.30 WIB