Kiwi Dancers Fly to Indonesia for An Intensive Dance Collaboration

Wellington dancers are taking their moves overseas - and they're a hit.

Two tutors from the New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD) flew to Jakarta to show aspiring dancers how it's done - Kiwi style.

Contemporary dance tutor Sacha Copland and ballet tutor Turid Revfeim travelled to the Indonesian city for a week-long intensive dance course.

Copland said there was a growing demand for contemporary dance in the country and was pleased with the opportunity to teach young dancers.

"With contemporary dance, they definitely haven't been exposed to a more Kiwi style."

It was a bit more physical than usual Indonesian dance forms.

"New Zealand dancers get into companies all over the world with contemporary dance."

"Because [Indonesian dancers] don't have a lot of access to contemporary dance teachers I think they were really stoked to give it a try."

She worked with students aged from 11 to 27, teaching them how to lift each other and showing some floor techniques. Sixty students took part in the course, some coming from Taiwan and Thailand.

At the end of the week, Copland and Revfeim helped the students put on a showcase to display the moves they had learned.

While there, the pair were treated to a show of traditional Indonesian ballet called Ramayana, in front of an 8th century Hindu temple.

Copland said the dancers wore tightly wrapped fabric around their legs, limiting movement. Instead, dancers would use intricate hand movements and flick loose material on their costumes.

The course was a joint effort from Indonesian organisation, NZSD and the New Zealand Embassy.

Dancers from different countries have been invited to Jakarta before to share their experiences, but this was the first time Kiwi dancers with the NZSD were invited. organiser Mariska Febriyani said they were excited to take part and work with New Zealand dancers.

 It would held Indonesian dancers to improve their capacity and  see dance and formal dance education as an alternative career path.

Copland said it had been her first trip to Indonesia but she would love to return and work with dance students there again.

While on her travels, Copland also took the opportunity to research for an upcoming Java Dance company production, themed around chocolate.