About the Performers in A Celebration of Music and Dance from South and Southeast Asia—A Benefit to Support Tsunami Relief Efforts, to be held on February 9th at 7:00 p.m. (UCLA Ackerman Union's Grand Ballroom)

About the Performers in A Celebration of Music and Dance from South and Southeast Asia—A Benefit to Support Tsunami Relief Efforts, to be held on February 9th at 7:00 p.m. (UCLA Ackerman Union

A list of the distinguished performers in, “A Celebration of Music and Dance from South and Southeast Asia”—A Benefit to Support Tsunami Relief Efforts

Dr. Sinduri Jayasinghe


Dr. Sinduri Jayasinghe is the founder, director, and guru of Savithri Arts Academy in Lakewood, California. She is an internationally accomplished scholar and dancer. Dr. Sinduri graduated from Madras Music College and received a Doctorate of Philosophy in Bharata Natyam and Kuchipudi (two mainstream classical dance forms from Southern India) from the International University in California in 1996.


Dr. Sinduri is a prolific performer with over 1600 live performances to her credit. She was selected as the best dancer in Tamil Nadu state in India in 1994. 


Dr. Sinduri began her dancing career at an early age.  She was one of the youngest dancers invited to perform for the President of India.


She has toured with her troupe of 60 dancers to countries including France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, and Japan.  Dr. Sinduri Jayasinghe is also an empanelled artiste of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) of the Indian government.


For more information about Dr. Sinduri Jayasinghe: http://www.sinduri.net


R. Diyah Larasati


R. Diyah Larasati is an accomplished performer and scholar. She was the recipient of an AAUW (American Association University of Women) Home Country Project Award, in 2004, for producing a series of performances and conferences in Indonesia focused on “Women, Performing Arts and Interpretation

In 2001-02, she was awarded an Asian Scholarship from the Ford Foundation.  She performed and taught dance in Cambodia while working closely with the Indonesian Embassy and Cambodian government in Phnom Penh.  Funded by the Asian Cultural Council/ Rockefeller Brothers Fund, she received her Master's Degree in dance from UCLA in 2000.  In 1997, supported by the World Bank, MSPI/ Ford Foundation, Indonesian Government and Institute of the Arts, she received her Master of Arts in Performance Studies/ Literature from Gadjah Mada.

Currently, Ms. Larasati is a visiting scholar at UCLA and professor of Indonesian language.  She is a professor at the Graduate Program of the School of the Arts, Surakarta, and also serves on the faculty of the Indonesian Institute of the Arts in Yogyakarta.  Diyah Larasati is the project director of Larasati & Co, a Women's Dance Company in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.


For more information about R. Diyah Larasati:  http://www.international.ucla.edu/cseas/article.asp?parentid=14952



I Nyoman Cerita


I Nyoman Cerita is a world-renowned dancer and musician from Indonesia.  He teaches music and dance at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI) and is the artistic director of a Balinese music and dance group that has performed at the Ethnic Festival in San Francisco.


I Nyoman Cerita has toured countries including Pakistan, Sweden, France, Germany, Japan, India, Holland and the United Kingdom. Within the United States, he has performed at the Fowler Museum, and Pomona University, as well as at the International Festival of Masks in Los Angeles. He has received awards from Titane Soectacles / Le Jardin des Poiries Paris, Kantor Sekretariat Negara, and the Indonesian Office of the State's Secretary.


Currently, Mr. Cerita is completing an MFA in dance at UCLA, and composing for Balinese Gamelan Angklung at Loyola University. 


Mr. Cerita will perform Balinese Mask Dance in the benefit show.



Wat Thai Classical Dance Troupe featuring Tanadda Tongyod, Piyaporn Obpat, and Sumalee Cheuchai


These talented performers recently graduated from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. They arrived in Los Angeles 6 months ago to become members of the Wat Thai Classical Dance Troupe, under the artistic direction of Mr. Kangwan Kurdpon. The troupe has been performing for over 20 years, both locally (at various diplomatic events and festivals in California), and all over the United States. They have also performed at the National Theatre in Bangkok, Thailand, under the auspices of her royal majesty, Crown Princess Siridhorn.


Ms. Tongyod, Ms. Obpat, and Ms. Cheuchai also teach Thai classical dance and music to Thai American youth at the Wat Thai Temple of Los Angeles in North Hollywood.


They will perform Sukhothai Dance in the benefit show.


Buratwangi/Betawi Dance Troupe


The Buratwangi Indonesian dance troupe was formed by I Nyoman Wenten at the California Art Institute; a collaboration with dancers originally from Jakarta who are now residing in the United States. I Nyoman Wenten is a prominent Balinese artist who is currently a professor of ethnomusicology at UCLA. 


The Burwatwangi group will feature Nancy Allard, Sandra Kosih, Mitah Wimbo Prasetyo, Wuri Wimbo Prasetyo, and Niken Dewani will perform Ronggeng Blantek a dance from Betawi/Jakarta in the benefit event. Nancy Allard is an accomplished dancer who has danced for the Indonesian University in Jakarta. (UI) Mitah and Wuri are two sisters who have specialized in Balinese and Javanese dance and began their dancing career at an early age.  Niken and Sandra are two gifted dance students who have performed at a variety of distinguished venues in Los Angeles.


Ronggeng Blantek is dance piece that was originally part of a dance/theatre of Betawi and influenced by Chinese culture and even European music during the Dutch occupation of Indonesia.  During the early 90's, this dance was reconstructed and choreographed in a contemporary way and has become popular throughout Indonesia especially on the island of Java.  Ronggeng Belantek has developed into a hallmark of Jakarta's traditional culture and is recognized as a national dance.


Sri Dance Company featuring Sri Susilowati, Caroline Chang, and Sydney Cassatta


Sri Susilowati is the director and founder of the Sri Dance Company, a group that creates and performs contemporary works highlighting issues in community, gender, and ethnicity through the medium of dance and multimedia. Ms. Susilowati is a graduate of the Indonesian Institute of the Arts in Yogyakarta and has an MFA degree from the department of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA. Sri Dance Company's most recent work, entitled A Name is All That Remains premiered at the Highways Performance Space in March 2004. 


Ms. Susilowati teaches at Santa Monica College where she served as the Artist-in-Residence in 2002. She is also founding director of the San Francisco-based Harsanari, which has performed in the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival as well as in other venues.


Sri Susilowati has performed as a solo dancer at the Symphony Space and Pier 59 (New York), the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, and at universities across the country. The Dance Documentation Project selected her workshops and performances to be filmed for the San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum.


The Sri Dance Company will present Sri's original piece entitled Remembering for the benefit show.  Remembering was selected for performance at the 2002 National American College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. This piece builds on the theme of the women and suffering by exploring the role of clothing and covering in movement.  Remembering will be performed by Sri Susilowati, Caroline Chang, and Sydney Cassatta.


UCLA Nashaa/Hindi Film Dance Team


UCLA's Nashaa was founded in 2002 and is comprised entirely of students who choreograph, produce, and participate in Hindi Film dance as cultural expression.   The Nashaa group also co-founded the hugely successful Jhoomti Shaam, the first Hindi Film Dance competition in Southern California.  The Nashaa team will host Jhoomti Shaam this year in hopes of making it the best Hindi Film competition in the nation. 


For more information about the UCLA Nashaa Team: http://www.uclanashaa.com/


UCLA Bataaka Nu Shaak, Raas Team


Raas is an energetic, colorful, and theatrical style of Gujarati dance.


Bataaka Nu Shaak, the UCLA Raas Team, was formed in 2002, and is comprised of 18 dedicated students (under the direction of Anuja Kulkarni), who have an unequivocal passion for Dandia Raas. Along with their academic lives, jobs, and social obligations, the team puts numerous hours a week into this artistic expression of culture through dancing. With their love for raas garba, they hope to help Indian culture blossom in the UCLA community and beyond. 


For more information about the UCLA Raas Team: http://www.uclaraas.com

Published: Wednesday, February 09, 2005