Phoenix Dance Spring Show: Wingspan, with Guest Performer Bapak Waleed

April 23, 2012 | Events Archive


On Sunday, April 22 and Monday April 23, Yale’s undergraduate Phoenix Dance Troupe presented their annual Spring Show “Wingspan.” On Sunday, Phoenix invited Guest Performer Bapak Waleed, Director of the International Silat Federation of America & Indonesia to headline the event at Yale’s Battell Chapel.  Bapak led performances of both Tari Piring, the Traditional Candle and Plate Dance of the Minangkabau, and the movements of Silat Tuo Minangkabau & Silat Tuo Harimau.  The Minangkabau culture of West Sumatra, Indonesia, comprise the largest surviving matrilineal society in the world, and their traditional movements of Silek Tuo date back centuries.

Click for the program and insert.

Master of Ceremonies Spencer Katz introduced Bapak Waleed, who spends much of his time traveling throughout Indonesia and Southeast Asia, being called upon to teach, lecture and perform. During the first Indonesian dance performance of the evening, Bapak Waleed and his students showcased the Tari Piring, usually performed at weddings and other cultural ceremonies in West Sumatra. The dance consists of movements with candles and plates in hand, and often ends with performers continuing the dance on a bed of broken glass. One of the blessings of the Tari Piring: no one gets hurt.

In the demonstration of Silat Tuo Minangkabau & Silat Tuo Harimau, Bapak Waleed demonstrated the ‘silat play’ with one of his senior students, including some ground elements and ‘harimau’ movements of the tiger.

The evening featured traditional dances from various regions around Asia, including from Xinjiang and Tibet, and guest performances from the Japanese American Students Union and Wushu groups at Yale. The performance wrapped up with two beautiful dances, one as a farewell from the graduating seniors, and a finale showcase of the ribbon dance.

Special thanks were given to the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in New York as well as the Saung Budaya Indonesian Dance Group, and the Yale Chaplain’s Office for the coordination and use of Battell Chapel.

Photo Credits: Veysel Umman and Cornelia Zorca.


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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.