Sanggar Cut Nyak Dhien!


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February 20th 2006
Published: February 19th 2006
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Guys and Loud DrumsGuys and Loud DrumsGuys 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?The Whole Dance Group...Can you Spot the Imposter?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!



Additional photos below
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Pak Ichsan Pak Ichsan
Pak Ichsan

The choreographer has such a calming energy around him but yet very commanding at the same time.
WomenWomen
Women

A lot of the women dances represented women working in the field, sewing, mending fishing nets. Here is the harvest celebration dance. (i think that's what this is!?)
Sold OUT!Sold OUT!
Sold OUT!

Over 400 tickets sold! Every member of the group was involved. Inda (shown here) and Nurul handled most of the promoting and ticketing.
Cut Nyak EricaCut Nyak Erica
Cut Nyak Erica

Cut Nyak Dhien is the name of the Acehnese warrior woman hero, who led the resistance against the Dutch Imperliast Army. The dancers surprised me with the gift of a Traditional Acehnese outfit and did my hair and make-up. Here I am with Yoki.
We are Sanggar Cut!We are Sanggar Cut!
We are Sanggar Cut!

My sister (in NY) made a great flier for them, which inspired them to try to make their own flier. (pictured)
End of the Night!End of the Night!
End of the Night!

It's over! Phew!! Despite the delays and formalities, the night was a success!


8th March 2006

quite beautiful
can't believe there are no comments yet it all looks amazing and you look like you should be president or premier or something like that.I think an invite to the white house is in order. love the photo's thank you xoxo
8th March 2006

Acehnese Outfit
You look beautiful but the photo reminds me of a wedding picture in one of your earlier entries. Is there something you aren't telling us? Kidding :) I miss you!
11th March 2006

wedding outfit
i agree with kathie, bring that beautiful outfit home and we can work on the ceremony!!

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