IDF History

Being the only Indonesian dance festival that survives for almost thirty years is our proud achievement, for the initiators and all parties who have participated in the Indonesian Dance Festival.

The achievement is resulted not only due to consistency, but also our endless efforts to evaluate, innovate, and communicate with time-to-time changes in the world of dance and general world.

“During 14 times of the event, 150 Indonesian choreographers, more than 90 choreographers from 23 countries, and many more artists, activists, academicians, producers, as well as promoters from various fields have contributed to give vibrant colors to the festival.”

Also during that period of time, some important milestones have been recorded; indicating the progress and development of the Indonesian Dance Festival.

The idea to hold a festival that serves as a place to accommodate the aspirations and works of Indonesian choreographers, especially the younger generation, was resulted from intense discussions among several dance stakeholders and academicians of Cikini school.

The Indonesian Dance Festival is first initiated by Sal Murgiyanto, Maria Darmaningsih, Nungki Kusumastuti, Ina M Suryadewi, Tom Ibnur, Deddy Lutan, as well as Sardono W. Kusumo, Julianti Parani and Farida Oetoyo as a substitute of Young Choreographers’ Week (Pekan Penata Tari Muda), an event held by the Jakarta Arts Council (Dewan Kesenian Jakarta) which had successfully promoted young choreographers from 1978 to 1985. A year later, on February 19th–22nd, 1992, the Indonesian Dance Festival was held for the first time.

And ever since its first event, the Indonesian Dance Festival keeps on progressing from time to time.There have been changes in the event management, regenerations of dancers and choreographers, as well as innovations in the event programs to maintain the compatibility of the format and theme to the contemporary condition.

The Indonesian Dance Festival started as an annual event, then transformed into a biannual event in 1996 as the consequence of a growing number of international dancers performing at the event. The situation required us to organize a more well-prepared festival.

The Indonesian Dance Festival which was initially under the responsibility of the Jakarta Institute of Arts (Institut Kesenian Jakarta), is established as a private foundation in 2018. In each event of the Indonesian Dance Festival, dance phenomenon and discourse are framed within a specific theme, starting from “body” as represented in “Sonic Body” (IDF 2016) and “Democratic Body” (IDF 2018); the relationship between dance and the public in “Let’s Move, Outreaching the Possibility” (IDF 2012); and the festival’s commitment to encourage the regeneration of dance artists in “Envisioning the Future” (IDF 2004), “The Next Generation: Freedom; Rules; Dance” (IDF 2006), or “Powering The Future” (IDF 2010).

The commitment of the Indonesian Dance Festival to provide a learning space for young dance artists is not only represented through themes, but also the development of an empowerment program which its format is continually changing, improving, and getting more systematic from time to time: from Triangle Art Workshop Program to Cross-Cultural Residency, from Showcase to Emerging Choreographer, from IDF Academy to Kampana. Those training and empowerment programs strengthen the festival’s mission to serve as an incubator for young dance artists to encourage them to contribute to the world of dance.