Event Review: SIPA 2013

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SIPA, Solo International Performing Arts is an annual event held in Solo since 2010. It is a Performing Arts festival, participated by art performers from all around the world.The event in itself was one of the product of the cultural/city marketing campaign by the former Mayor of Surakarta City, Joko Widodo. And I was so happy that finally I have got the chance to see it in person.

SIPA 2013 would be held in three days, because of our activities I can only go to the first day, the opening day. My sister and I went to the ticketing office (which is not too easy to find if you are not local), and bought a couple of VIP ticket. After we asked the lady who sold me the ticket, we chose the seat in the middle, hoping that we would be able to see the stage from the centre view. Had been so excited until we eventually came to the venue.

Benteng Vastenburg, which was chosen as the venue of the event was a very historical city landmark in Solo. Actually it was a perfect place to do this outdoor performance, if not because of the local religious community who shouted outside using a megaphone, disturbing the whole performance. But that was not even the worse.

The officials who had been expected to deliver the opening speech came fairly late, the committee, I guessed, had to modify the schedule by asking some groups to perform before the opening ceremony. And when these important people came, they entered the venue while the performance was going on, and because of the seating layout they blocked out the whole VIP guests. Not only that, these VVIP guests walked out before the event finished, and again went out during the performance, and again, blocked out the view from the VIP seats. I was hoping they were going to make that quick, but of course I was wrong… they would have to do the air kisses and a long goodbyes which makes the blockings even longer. Thank you very much.

What bothered me the most was the camera in the middle of the way. Why do they have to have a camera man in the middle, which blocked the view of the audience. This cameraman, who was the officials of the committee, then followed by some shameless audience who kept standing up to take picture has enraged some audience. One of them was me. And another was the lady who sit in front of me, a foreign guest who in the end asked the committee to tell these people to sit because she could not watch the show. She decided to walk out after awhile because couldn’t bear with the disappointment. What a shame…

I can’t believe they let this happen in an international event. And I can’t believe these puny mistakes still happen after doing the same festival for four consecutive years. The thing is, as a VIP guest, I paid for my seat. I paid to watch the show. I paid to enjoy the performance. And instead I was shown people arses and silhouette of people walking around doing air kisses and goodbyes. Of course I was not happy.

However, apart from the technicality and etiquette problems, I enjoyed the events. I loved the show, and the performers from South Korea has stolen my heart. I believe these guy, Noreum Machi has stolen the hearts of the whole audience when they shouted “Terima Kasih” over and over again during the thunderous applause.

Of course the other performances were as great, and my other favourite was the introduction of the SIPA 2013 mascot, who is apparently Miss Surakarta, which apparently was a runner up of Miss Indonesia 2012. How should I know that. What captivated me was the dancers who were so coordinated and were dressed in a beautiful traditional Javanese clothings. That was also awesome.

I wish the committee would learn from this experiences for a better event next year, and the mistakes not to be done again. I am still willing to watch SIPA next year apart from the disappointment I had this year. There should be more of this kind of festivals in Indonesia to introduce culture so that Indonesian people could appreciate the performing arts even more.

To close this review, I embedded a youtube video I found. This is the Noreum Machi. Enjoy…

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