Arts |

Meet Juliana Tanjo, The Lady Behind the International Ballet Star Gala

Arts | 31 January 2017

For the very first time in Indonesia, the International Ballet Star Gala (IBSG) will bring ten outstanding dancers from some of the world’s most prominent dance companies to Jakarta to perform together on one stage. Presented by the Indonesian Dance Society (IDS), this exquisite gala will take place on February 4 at Teater Besar in Taman Ismail Marzuki. NOW! Jakarta recently talked to Juliana Tanjo, the Director and Founder of IDS and mastermind behind this grandiose event.

As an independent performing arts foundation, IDS aims to support the development of ballet dance in Indonesia through various educational activities including workshops and competitions.

“IDS was founded by me to increase awareness and appreciation towards ballet among the Indonesian public,” Juliana explained. “To accomplish that mission, we regularly organise workshops, short courses and national competitions that involve internationally-recognised ballet dancers. The most recent one is the International Ballet Star Gala that will be staged this month.”

For the star-studded gala, ten renowned dancers from world-class ballet companies such as the Royal Danish Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre, the San Fransisco Ballet, the Mariinsky Ballet, the Universal Ballet, and the English National Ballet have been invited. Juliana, an accomplished ballerina herself, admits that it has not been an easy task to get these dancers together.

“Since all the dancers come from different companies and countries, we have to make sure that they can sync their dance even though they haven’t met before,” she said. “They will arrive in Jakarta one day prior to the event, therefore the practice time is limited to one hour plus a two-hour dressing rehearsal before the performance. But since these dancers are the best in their companies, we are confident that they will awe the audience with a remarkable performance.”

Another unique feature of this show is its repertoire, consisting of dances from several famous ballet productions like Carmen, Swan Lake, Gisselle Tchaikovsky Pas de deux, and many more.

“We do not only bring the best dancers, but also the best part of various popular ballet stories to one stage as we are keen to present a premium show to the Indonesian audience,” Juliana added.

Juliana’s commitment to promote ballet in Indonesia is also evident in IDS’s annual event, Dance Prix Indonesia, a national competition that sees hundreds of Indonesian ballet dancers compete to win scholarships for prestigious ballet institutions in America, Japan, South Korea as well as Europe.

“While Dance Prix Indonesia aspires to help young talents to pursue their dreams to become world-class ballerinas, IBSG is aiming to invite more people to enjoy prime ballet performances,” Juliana explained. “In the future, Indonesia will hopefully have more talents that can grace the world stage just like the dancers in IBSG. We also hope that IBSG will become an annual event that attracts thousands of people from all over Indonesia and abroad.”