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Published: February 19th 2006
Guys and Loud Drums
Universal appeal. One of the best acts of the night.
Last night was such an amazing night for me that it will be a little hard to explain. Suffice to say, I played a small part in inspiring a big event. I don't have much time to write because I leave for Vietnam in 2 hours and have to pack (meeting friends Deb and Dena there for a little R&R), so I'll just write-up what I said last night to kick off the event.
Sanggar Cut Nyak Dhien is a traditional Acehnese dance group that has existed for more than 30 years and has been invited and performed all over the world. But then the tsunami happened and the group lost 8 of it's senior members. Their choreographer, Pak Ichsan, suffered a stroke. Since then, Sanggar Cut Nyak hasn't received any invitations to perform.
Two months ago, I was invited to a practice performance by my friend, Yoki, who used to dance with the group. We were an audience of 4, but they performed for us for 2 hours as if we were an audience of 400. I was so moved by their performance that I met with them after and we talked about putting on a show for
The Whole Dance Group...Can you Spot the Imposter?
Everyone...here is the whole group. I'm in the middle (wearing red).
all of Aceh and guests (foreign NGO workers). That is how tonight's event came to be.
The dancers practiced and planned every detail of the event. They made the fliers, handmade tickets and folded every napkin. I had so little to do with it that I'm embarrassed to be up here at all. But someone had to tell their story. For some of the members of the dance group, it is their first performance. For all of the members, it is their biggest performance. But I hope this will be just the first of many performances to come and I hope the invitations come again as well. Enjoy the event!
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