“Gusmiati Suid & Gumarang Sakti: Moving Forward with Tradition” is from the Document(s) series, a library of commentary on people and issues in the dance field. This repository of essays includes interviews by writers and thinkers on dance, as well as “dance discursions,” which offer opportunities for reflection on the field of dance commissioned by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
This paper by Indonesian dance scholar Sal Murgiyanto was originally presented at “Traces of Tradition,” a panel discussion held at the International Dance Conference, organized jointly by the Congress on Research in Dance; World Dance Alliance-Asia Pacific; and the International Center of Kinetography Laban, at Taipei National University for the Arts, Taipei, from August 1-4, 2004. It is offered here as a companion piece to “Reinventing Tradition: New Dance in Indonesia.”
From the article:
“Gusmiati Suid (1942–2001), a vital figure in Indonesian contemporary dance, made her choreographic debut in 1979 at the second Young Choreographers Festival organized by the Jakarta Arts Council. Eight years later, she migrated to Jakarta to pursue a performing and choreographic career, and re-established the Gumarang Sakti Dance Company, which continues to prosper under the direction of Boi G. Sakti, Ms. Suid’s only son. This paper traces the career of Ms. Suid and her struggle to reinterpret the heritage of Minangkabau (a region of West Sumatra) through her contemporary work. Two characteristics that connect Gusmiati’s work to Minangkabau traditions are the ways in which her dances are guided by adat (local custom) and syarak (Islamic rules).”