The International Ballet Star Gala 2017 was organised by the Indonesia Dance Society for a one-time performance at 7.30pm on 4 February 2017 at the Taman Ismail Marzuki in Central Jakarta. It featured dancers from some of the world’s best companies including Mariinsky and the American Ballet Theater. The gala was opened with performances by Namarina, one of Indonesia’s leading ballet schools.

The international dancers who took part in the gala were Ida Praetorius, Ulrik Birkkjær (Royal Danish Ballet); Lorena Feijood, Tiit Helimets (San Francisco Ballet); Adiarys Almeida; Hwang Hye-min, Ohm Jae-yong (Universal Ballet); Sofia Gumerova, Igor Kolb (Mariinsky Ballet); and Daniil Simkin (American Ballet Theater).

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After the 1st Indonesian Ballet Gala in 2015, this event could be another great introduction to world-class ballet to the Indonesian audience. (There was also the West Australian Ballet Tour in August 2016, but I happened to be out of town then.) Here are my most favourite pieces from the gala, based on the order of performace:

1) “Les Bourgeois”, performed by Daniil Simkin
A comical and energetic number performed by the animated Simkin, one of ABT Principals.
2) “Dying Swan”, performed by Sofia Gumerova
The Dying Swan is one of my top favourite ballet numbers that I always look forward to see. I think Gumerova did a very great job. It’s just that I was distracted by several ill-mannered patrons who took pictures and made video recordings during the performance.
3) “Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux”, performed by Ida Praetorius and Ulrik Birkkjær
Praetorius and Birkkjær made up for the flaws they’d made during their nearly-disastrous performance of “Flower Festival in Genzano” in the previous act. Wonderful interpretation of Balanchine’s!
4) “Le Corsaire Pas de Deux”, performed by Adiarys Almeida and Daniil Simkin
I only have two words: killer performance! The duo made spectacular ending to the gala. Simply stupendous!

Can we expect another gala, or perhaps a full-length ballet, anytime soon?

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