In idea Wars, we pick the brains of some of jakarta’s creative forces of nature by bombarding them with quick-fire questions. This month’s edition pairs up two eminently talented artistes possessed of two very different dancing styles, Yuska Luthfi Tuanakotta and Truly Rizki Ananda
Yuska Luthfi Tuanakotta
The common perception is that belly dancing, which originated in the Middle East, is something for the ladies only. On the contrary though, it turns out that there are men out there who have also taken up belly dancing and who, furthermore, have become really, really good at it. Just ask male belly dancer extraordinaire Yuska, who lives and breathes belly dancing with all of his heart and soul.
Ever since he was a young lad, Yuska has always been fascinated by the medium of dance. With the support of his parents, he went to America to pursue his love of dancing by studying at FatChanceBellyDance in San Francisco, a well-known dance company that specialises in American Tribal Style Belly Dance, a style of belly dancing devised by one Carolena Nericcio and one that Yuska has adopted as his very own dancing style. Yuska’s life currently involves him flying back and forth between the USA and Indonesia.
Back home, Yuska joined Dancewave Center Jakarta, which focuses its energies on creative dancing via the mixing and fusion of different styles of dances into one, eventually starting to teach a couple of classes there. Yuska has performed in various places, both abroad and with Dancewave Center at the Gedung Kesenian right here in the Big J. Although a holder of a degree in communications from the University of Indonesia, Yuska believes that he finds real bliss in his life through belly dancing and he reckons that Indonesians are developing a keen interest in the dance style.
Who’s your muse? Tina Turner. Describe your style. American Tribal Style and Tribal Fusion Belly Dance. Inspiring destination? Yogyakarta. When you’re at work, what kind of music do you like to put on? Anything, as long as it gets me pumped and moving. Productive time of day: day or night? Night. Favourite movies? The “Aliens” films and “Coraline”. Your greatest achievement? To be able to do what I love and make a living out of it. Mac or Windows? Windows. Talent or hard work? Talent.
Truly Rizki Ananda
In many ways, Truly Rizki Ananda is your typically modern Jakarta girl. She loves spending time watching films, treating her ears to the sweetly epic sounds of Sigur Rós and reading a book or two. Behind the girl-next-door facade, though, is a supremely talented ballerina who has devoted herself to ballet ever since she was a wee six-year-old.
Truly’s mother was genuinely afraid that her daughter had tomboy tendencies and so enrolled her in the Namarina Ballet School in the hope that this would unleash her inner female. Lo and behold, the move went exactly as hoped and Truly became intimately involved in a performance dance style that has its roots in fifteenth century Italy.
This University of Indonesia philosophy graduate is currently a member of Namarina Youth Dance (NYD), a semi-professional ballet company, and is also a teacher at the Namarina Ballet School, where she teaches classical ballet to both young and old alike, as well as jazz ballet to adults. Through NYD, she has also performed well-known ballet pieces such as “Point of No Return” and “The Nutcracker”.
Of her work as a ballerina, Truly says, “Ballet is not easy. I have to learn the techniques, listen to the music, take the blocking into account and be aware of the surrounding environment, all at the same time. Ballet is an activity that requires precision. Moreover, ballerinas need to maintain decent physical proportions and for an Indonesian like me, that can be a pretty difficult thing to do!”
Later this month, on September 22 to be precise, 18 of Truly’s students will be performing an adaptation of “Don Quixote” entitled “Amor en Barcelona” at Taman Ismail Marzuki.
Who’s your muse? Mikhail Baryshnikov and Margot Fonteyn. Describe your style. Classical. Inspiring destination? New York. When you’re at work, what kind of music do you like to put on? Classical music. When away from the barre, I like to listen to songs by Sigur Rós and Hammock. Productive time of day: day or night? Night. Favourite movies? “First Position” and “Center Stage”. Your greatest achievement? Graduating with distinction at Advanced 2 level in ballet. Mac or Windows? Mac. Talent or hard work? Hard work.