“Patience, patience, Gabriel. That’s the first thing you need in order to learn traditional Javanese Dance”.
That was the wise advice Mr. Didik gave me this morning after my daily class with Mr. Hardi. He must have recognized the expression of frustration on my face. There are so many details in that dance that I have no concentration left for practicing the idea of being a woman. Although, somehow I believe that will eventually lead me into being feminine without noticing it. Let’s hope for the best. I tend to loose myself in an entanglement of complex movements that involve, all at once, arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, head, eyes, toes, you name it. And they say this is way easier than Balinese Dance, which I’m supposed to be eventually getting a taste of somewhere in November. That just aggravated my frustration. On the other hand, I do have fun. Mr. Hardi and I seem to be more in tune as teacher and student. His English has improved but my Indonesian hasn’t much. Though, I can now count till eight. ‘Satu, dua, tiga, empat, lima, enam, tujuh, delapan.’ The problem comes when Mr. Hardi starts to count in a musical way while eating up entire syllables, which seem to be very common in traditional dance classes here. That’s when I give up on counting and let myself go with the music, eventually getting told by my teacher. I felt pretty uneasy in class today when Mr. Didik’s staff took over half of the studio in order to make preparations for this evening’s dress rehearsal and dinner. I didn’t really feel ready for an audience. But there they were. They didn’t even try to hide their laughs. Then, I decided to pull my girl-power together and give my best thrust of the scarf with my delicate wrist. Hum!
I’m very excited about this evening. Not only will I be getting to see Mr. Didik’s latest creation before its premier in Jakarta next month, but I’ll be also getting in touch with a handful of the city’s artist community. They’re all friends of Mr. Didik. For the record, Yogyakarta is considered to be Java’s soul, central to the island’s artistic and intellectual heritage. From what I’ve heard, it also has a fierce international artistry community. I guess I won’t be getting a chance to improve my Indonesian.