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Check out more performing arts videos below or scroll down further for links to watch Indonesian films from U.S. streaming services.
Piriang (Plate) Dance from Minangkabau, West Sumatra
The dance quickly gain popularity as each of the dancers try to keep a porcelain plate on each hand until while performing the difficult dance which combines graceful, dynamic movements and Pencak Silat movements. Sometimes the perfomance also contains a mystical action of being able to step, dance, or even roll like in this video, on the broken pieces of plates.
Teumampoe Dance from Aceh
Teumampoe dance was choreographed based on the winnowing rice tradition before a family ceremony, such as circumcision, wedding, or funeral, in Pidie Jaya Regency, Aceh. The winnowing rice tradition is believed to purify the people, separating the good from the bad/evil. The dancer is bringing the “tampi” (sifter tray) used for winnowing the rice.
Another traditional dance that was more popular from Indonesia’s most west province, Aceh, is Saman, which is also one of UNESCO Intangible Heritage from Indonesia. Unlike Teumampoe which is performed by young female dancers and accompanied by 2 local traditional instruments, Rapa’i (the drums) dan Serunee Kalee (the wind instruments), Saman, which is also known as “the dance of a thousand hands”, is traditionally performed by only young male dancers and the dancers are chanting the accompaniment while dancing. The chant contains prayers as well as advices about the importance of unity and protecting their environment as well as their heritage. Click to watch a video about the record-breaking performance of Saman dance performed by 10,001 dancers in Aceh.
Yamko Rambe Yamko from Papua
Yamko Rame Yamko is a folk song from Indonesia’s most eastern province, Papua, but the acapella arrangement in this video is by Agustinus Bambang Jusana and performed by The Resonanz Children’s Choir at the Musica Eterna Roma Grand Prix Competition in 2017. The song tells about tribes that defend their land and people.
This is an arrangement combining 2 folk songs, “Ondel-Ondel” and “Sirih Kuning”, from Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta, which was known as Jayakarta back in 1619. This arrangement by Ulung Mikhael Tanoto, an Indonesian diaspora composer in DMV, was part of a 2018 musical titled “1928, When A Nation Sings in Harmony”, for pop orchestra, traditional instruments (Kolintang, Gamelan, and Kendang), choir, and choreography; performed by Indonesian Kids Performing Arts and the Indonesian student association (Permias) DC. The musical was based on the Indonesian history leading up to the Youth Pledge (“Sumpah Pemuda”) on October 28, 1928.
Pencak Silat by Williamsburg Dojo
Pencak Silat is an Indonesian martial arts/sports. It was declared as UNESCO Intangible Heritage on December 12, 2019. Originated in the Minang and Sundanese (West Java) culture, it is now practiced and developed across the archipelago as well as different parts of the worlds.
Watch more Indonesian traditional dance videos from across the archipelago on Indonesia Tari Youtube Channel
Click here to find Indonesian movies on Netflix.
Below are some of our recommendations 🙂
Habibie & Ainun
Based on the inspirational love story of Indonesia’s third president and his wife, as well as their love and dedication for Indonesia, the movie was screened at our embassy for “Movie Night at The Embassy Presidents’ Day and Valentine Day Edition” in 2020 as well as in several cities in Maryland, in collaboration with World Artists Experiences, for the as part of Bridges to the World International Film Festival. Click here to hear what the audience said about it.
Poster credit: IMDB
This movie was based on a true story of Indonesian national heroine & princess of Java, Raden Adjeng Kartini, whose effort to provide better #educational access & rights to women in her region in the early 1900s, later resulted in emancipation movements leading up to Indonesia’s independence.
Poster credit: Wikipedia
An action movie about a man who wakes up from coma and memories of brutal violence begin to surface, jeopardizing his life and his doctor.
Poster credit: IMDB
Through the lens of faith and cultures in 7 provinces in Indonesia, this documentary follows individuals who strive to address climate change.
Poster credit: IMDB
Below are some Indonesian movies you can find on Amazon Prime Video.
Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts
Directed by Mouly Surya–the only female director winning the Best Director at the Citra Award twice–“Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts” shows the development of a young widow against her would-be attackers. The film received 98% on Rotten Tomatoes & Variety reviewed that the climax “rivals any of Tarantino’s high concept violence” & used the term “satay Western” to describe the film’s Western style but told fr a female perspective while incorporating Indonesian traditional values & setting.
Poster credit: Amazon
Receiving 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, this Indonesian horror movie follows a now-poor and hapless family haunted by the death of their mother who dies after being bedridden for three years from a strange and debilitating illness. It was screened for “Movie Night at The Embassy – Halloween Edition” in 2019 in our so-called haunted historic embassy building, which received widely positive response about both the movie and the event.