mage care of Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. Photo: Chantel Bann

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Suara Indonesia Dance group specialise in an energetic mix of dance, body percussion and song. Artistic director Alfira O’Sullivan and choreographer, Murtala, aim to preserve the traditional and folk dances from various regions of Indonesia including West Java, Bali and Aceh as well as create new works based on traditional movements. “It is important to pass on heritage and tradition to those of Indonesian ancestry born in Australia as well as educating the wider community on the divergence of Indonesian culture,” said O’Sullivan.

Funded by the Inner West Council, Suara Indonesia Dance, has performed in many venues across the inner west including Marrickville and Leichhardt Community Centres. The company also teaches dance classes in Lakemba. There are many forms of dance across the different regions of Indonesia and the music too differs from one region to another. “For example, the Acehnese dance form is based on body percussion and synchronised movement in groups to the beat of the rapai frame drum while, west Javanese cultural dance devotes itself to intricate hand movements and choreographed dance sequences accompanied by the sounds of Gamelan. Many Australians will be more familiar with the Balinese style of dance which will also be included.

Maybe this will entice the few of us who haven’t been to Bali to go there and explore further afield. The idea is that those who come to view the performances will be able to experience many regions of Indonesia all in one day. There will also be traditional food, arts and crafts and even a fashion show featuring Indonesian costumes and regional clothes which the children will model. Some of these costumes have been made by the children themselves. “Of course there will be prizes for best costume as well.” O’Sullivan explained.

Jun 22. Ashfield Town Hall, 260 Liverpool Rd, Ashfield. FREE (Fashion show registration $20). Tickets & Info: www.suaraindonesiadance.com.au

By Renee Lou Dallow