Bapak Waleed Offers Workshop on West Sumatran Dance

May 5, 2012 | Events Archive

May 5th / Lotus Dance Studio / New York, NY

The Lotus Dance Studio of New York City invited Bapak Waleed to teach a class on the traditional foundational movements of West Sumatran Dance. Bapak Waleed shared with the students from the ancient cultural arts of Silat Tuo, Silat Minang, and Silat Harimau. The traditional arts are native to the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra, the oldest and largest matrilinial society in the world. The movements are ancient and sacred, tracing their origins back to the 5th century. These arts hold a lot of meaning for the people there and have been woven into all aspects of the fabric of their culture over time. Traditionally, those looking to train in the dances of that region must first understand its foundation in the Silat arts.

Bapak opened the session with a traditional breathing exercises and movements which bring peace and blessings to those present. He then took the students through various beginning movements, including some on the ground, emphasizing feeling and sensitivity, balance and precision, and moving hands and feet together. Bapak also took time to explain and demonstrate the practical side of the movements.

Afterword, everyone was very fulfilled and expressed their gratitude to Bapak for sharing the beauty of the arts. Some commented that the movements were earthy, grounding, and even meditative at times. Bapak agreed, reminding everyone that the essence of these arts can be boiled down to “being in the moment”. Everyone was eager to learn more and they expressed their interest in staying in contact for future events.

We are all grateful to the wonderful staff at the Lotus Dance Studio for their assistance and support. Please join our newsletter to keep abreast of similar occasions.


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About Us

We are the local New Haven, CT branch of the International Silat Federation of America and Indonesia, dedicated to sharing the traditional arts, culture, music, theater, and natural wellness methods of the Minangkabau community of West Sumatra, Indonesia.