Los Angeles, a city associated with Hollywood, Beverly Hills and a glamorous lifestyle, turned its spotlights on Indonesia on October 22nd and 23rd as this city discovered the wonders of this huge archipelago right in the heart of its own shopping and entertainment district, The Grove.
Eloquently entitled ?Discover Wonderful Indonesia?, the event drew the attention of no-less than a 15,000 audience who watched and participated in the two-day promotion.
Enthusiasm rose as the crowd actively participated in the mass angklung performance. Led by Mustika Hendraningtyas, who was specially flown from Jakarta, the audience enthusiastically played Indonesian tunes and popular international hits. The 700 angklungs given away as souvenirs were eagerly snapped up as the crowd who competed to posses these authentic Indonesian bamboo instruments. Tom Le Bonge, Councilman from Los Angles? district IV was also seen singing, playing and enjoying the mass angklung performance.
Another performance that captivated the audience was East Java's signature Reog Ponorogo dance. This time the exotic traditional dance was surprisingly performed by two Americans, Robert Ackley and James Baltz. The two expressed their deep interest in the art of Reog Ponorogo and stated that it has distinct unique music with powerful mystical overtones which make it a one of a kind cultural art form.
The performance of the 6 piece Rampak Gendang, a unique form of dancing percussionists also received huge applause. The event also featured other traditional dances including: the Balinese Bale Ganjur Dance, Sundanese Jaipong, Ronggeng Blantek, and Topeng Kelana.
The event was also highlighted with a movie in the Indonesian folk entertainment style called ?layar tancap?, literally meaning a ?planted movie screen?. This is a portable theater, where a screen can be randomly planted in a public square or even in the middle of a ricefield to be enjoyed by the local population. ?Simfoni Luar Biasa? or the Extraordinary Symphony was the movie played at the event. Dellon Tio, the director, stated that he was very glad that his movie received a warm welcome even in the heart of Hollywood in Los Angeles.
Batik was also the star of the 2-days fiesta. Visitors were given the chance to try their hands on creating batik designs applied on cotton fabrics using the original batik tool called canting.
Organized by the Consulate General of the Republic Indonesia in Los Angeles and the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, the ?Discover Wonderful Indonesia? is aimed to present some of the wonders of Indonesia to the United States, and the people in Los Angeles in particular, inviting Americans to visit Indonesia. In his opening speech, Hadi Martono, Consul General of the Republic Indonesia stated that Indonesia with all its cultural diversity, fascinating nature, and sincere hospitality Indonesia promises to be a favorite tourists destination for Americans. The opening ceremony was also attended by the Director for Foreign Promotion at the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Nia Niscaya.