YCDC/Cooperative High School Invites Bapak Waleed

October 27, 2012 | Events Archive

This afternoon, the dance studio of the Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School in downtown New Haven transported a group of student dancers 10,000 miles around the world to the land of West Sumatra, Indonesia, home of one the oldest and largest living matrilineal societies in the world today: the Minangkabau people.  The cause: the Yale Co-op Dance Collaborative (YCDC) had invited Bapak Waleed, Founder and Director of the International Silat Federation of America & Indonesia to lead the group of girls in the steps and hand movements of Traditional Indonesian Dance.

With the sounds of traditional Gamelan orchestra in the background, and drapings of batik tapestries along the barre, the group of 16 girls learned the basic steps and the importance of maintaining and controlling their balance as dancers. He led them by example and took the time to come to each individually to correct their movements. Bapak Waleed described and demonstrated the precision required in the movements of Traditional Indonesian Dance, which is often performed at ceremonies including traditional Minang weddings.  He shared footage of one such wedding, including the Tari Piring, or candle and plate dance, unique to West Sumatra, showcasing the wonders of the movement even on a plate of broken glass.

Several of the girls remarked at the challenges of moving with the consistent depth required by the dance, but at the same time inquired about further opportunities to practice. They all thanked Bapak Waleed for the experience, and left with a new-found appreciation for the far-away culture of the Minangkabau people.


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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.