Launch of the Loka Tari Nusantara Foundation & Friends of IDF: Steps Towards a Sustainable Dance Ecosystem

30 March 2023

Jakarta - After being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indonesian Dance Festival (IDF) finally held a launch event for the Loka Tari Nusantara Foundation (YLTN) and Friends of IDF (FoIDF) on Friday, January 13, 2023 at the Nusantara Ballroom, The Dharmawangsa, Jakarta. This event was a special moment that marked IDF's determination in striving to create a sustainable performing arts ecosystem in Indonesia.

“During its 30 years of existence, IDF has created a network of dance activists and lovers in Indonesia. They are the ones who always provide support in various forms, so that IDF can be realised and become one of the leading events for the performing arts, not only in Indonesia but also in Asia.”

The launch of YLTN and FoIDF, is intended to introduce to the public the two entities that will become a platform for nurturing the love of dance.

The Loka Tari Nusantara Foundation (YLTN) was formed in 2019 as the legal umbrella organisation that ensures the sustainability of the Indonesian Dance Festival (IDF) as its main activity. Apart from the main festival, YLTN also organises various educational programs and efforts for the development of dance potential in Indonesia. Currently, Sinta Nuriyah Wahid and Iriana Joko Widodo have joined the foundation as members of the Honorary Advisory Board. Meanwhile, YLTN itself was founded by Maria Darmaningsih, Melina Surya Dewi, and Nungki Kusumastuti, co-founders of the IDF. Together with Sal Murgiyanto, the three of them have managed to maintain the continuity of the IDF for the last three decades.

One of the things YLTN will oversee is the effort to raise and manage funds or other forms of support through Friends of IDF (FoIDF). Although previously not represented by a legal organisation, support through the FoIDF program has begun since 2008. FoIDF was formed as a platform for individuals who are passionate about the development of contemporary dance and freedom of expression through art in Indonesia. The support raised by FoIDF is not limited to funding, but also other forms such as a network of relationships, facilities and various others. The support garnered by this platform will go towards supporting the creation of works, implementing programs, and supporting the growth and development of the careers of dance artists, performing arts managers, as well as dance and cultural practitioners who are involved both on and behind the stage.

Attended by approximately 100 invitees, the launch event for the two supporting entities of the IDF was held warm and intimate. Like the festival, the launch of YLTN and FoIDF also became a gathering occasion for IDF friends and colleagues from various regions and backgrounds.

To begin the event, Ratri Anindyajati as IDF Director gave opening remarks. Dressed in red and white shades, that night Ratri shared her experiences at IDF which was the entry point for her to explore the world of performing arts until now she is leading a career as a producer. “There are actually many youths like me who want to get involved in the Indonesian performing arts ecosystem, especially through the IDF. For this reason, we need a joint effort to create an ecosystem that is sustainable and good for all," she said.

As the new director representing the regeneration of IDF’s leadership and management, Ratri pays special attention to making the IDF more inclusive, especially for young people, women, and the general public who are connoisseurs of the performing arts. For this reason, entities such as YLTN and FoIDF are needed.

“We believe that to create a sustainable arts ecosystem, not only financial support is needed, but also the involvement of every stakeholder according to their capacities and capabilities”

-  Ratri Anindyajati, IDF Director

Nungki Kusumastuti and Maria Darmaningsih, co-founders of IDF and YLTN, who also hosted the event that night, shared with the guests about their journey of nurturing IDF for the last 30 years. During that time, Nungki and Maria felt how important the role of IDF supporters was. According to them, the ecosystem of the arts does not only belong to artists, but to the many people who play a role in it. Now that the IDF has passed its 30th year and has become the longest standing contemporary dance festival in Asia, this spirit must be maintained. “We hope we can all support the IDF together. The festival is already 30 years old, the question now is how can we make it last even longer,” they said.

That evening several figures who were FoIDF brand ambassadors were present, including Nur Asia Uno (public figure & Wife of Tourism and Creative Economy Minister), Inti Subagio (Founder of For All Nation), Ario Bayu (Actor), Rania Yamin (Public figure), Ike Bakrie (Founder public), Dhea Seto (artist), Engel Tanzil (Founder of Dia.lo.gue), Alan Feinstein (Philanthropist), and several others. Apart from those present that night, several figures who never failed to support the IDF include Hilmar Farid (Director General of Culture), Bambang Sutedjo (Entrepreneur), Grace Oh (Art Observer), Edgar Arceneaux (Los Angeles based Artist), and many others.

IDF's position as a meeting point for the performing arts stakeholders in Indonesia makes this festival not merely entertainment, but also a platform for forming the nation’s character. This was conveyed by Imron Zuhri, Chairman of the YLTN Board of Trustees in his remarks that night. Imron, a businessman, feels that FoIDF has facilitated his love for Indonesian arts and culture. “For me, supporting the IDF, especially through financial support, is an important mission. Because of my aspirations, the IDF has the most important role in educating the younger generation," he conveyed enthusiastically.

The heartfelt evening of the launching of the Loka Tari Nusantara Foundation and Friends of IDF was concluded with a fine performance from young choreographers Try Anggara and the Ksatria Swargaloka dance group led by Bathara Saverigadi Dewantoro.

Try Anggara, a hip hop choreographer from Jakarta, presents a work entitled "Memo". His work combines traditional Minang dance styles which he collaborates with modern hip hop styles. The invited guests were amazed by the fluidity of the unexpected mix of styles in “Memo”.

Still highlighting a fusion of traditional and contemporary elements, the Ksatria Swargaloka dance group performed a repertoire titled "Fantastic Order". Appearing in festive costumes, the group fronted by Bathara Saverigadi presented a narrative about ‘rasa’ (feelings) in traditional Javanese dance which was translated into more contemporary movements.

A lively welcome from the guests ended the performances of the two choreographers who were in process with the IDF. These two dance performances are representative presentations of the spirit advocated by the IDF, which is to provide space for young artists to develop dance creations that at the same time embrace Indonesian cultural values. The event that night was not too grand, but the spirit that was woven together would be an important moment in the history of the IDF.

Now YLTN and FoIDF have been officially launched. These two entities will bridge supporters to take part in caring for the sustainability of the performing arts and culture ecosystem in Indonesia through the IDF.

YLTN and FoIDF are open and welcome anyone who wants to contribute.

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