Subsequent to her participation at the 2016 Unlimited Festival, founder and executive director of Ballet.id, Mariska Febriyani, was inspired to establish the inclusive dance company, CANdoDANCE, in collaboration with UK’s Candoco. “Upon our return from Glasgow, Ballet.id and British Council began to brainstorm ideas on how to give back to the arts and disability scene in Indonesia. Ballet.id also happens to organise a biannual dance gala, and I thought, “Why not make the event more accessible to the public?” told Mariska.
This is the second year Ballet.id and Candoco have teamed up. This time around, they trained a group of disabled and non-disabled dancers from 4 Indonesian cities (Jakarta, Bandung, Malang and Bali), in addition to two Candoco dancers. The 12 dancers that took part in this year’s CANdoDANCE installment underwent a week-long residency program at the National Gallery of Jakarta, with 8-9 hours of rehearsal on a daily basis. “We performed the outcome of our rehearsals at Festival Bebas Batas, with the accompaniment of renowned Indonesian pianist and composer Ananda Sukarlan playing his original compositions,” elaborated Mariska.
Ananda himself expressed his excitement to take part in this year’s CANdoDANCE project, which used one of his original compositions titled ‘Rapsodia Nusantara #15’. “I composed that one especially for one-handed pianists,” he explained. “No composer had the idea to come up with piano pieces for disabled pianists,” he continued. “Even if it’s a very talented pianist, there are still very few pieces to study or perform. When I started to work with disabled children or children with special needs, I was inspired to come up with special pieces for them.”