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  • The Nusantara Bulletin

Titimangsa Travels Through Time in “Sukabumi 1980”

As the curtain fell on 2023, Titimangsa and the Bakti Budaya Djarum Foundation collaborated to weave a spellbinding cultural journey known as "Sukabumi 1980," embracing the theme of "Lestari Tradisi" (Preserving Traditions). Picture this enchanting celebration of Sundanese heritage unfolding against the scenic backdrop of the Selabintana Conference Resort in Sukabumi, West Java, on the 8th of December, 2023.

Renitasari Adrian, the Program Director of Bakti Budaya Djarum Foundation, emphasized the broader purpose behind "Sukabumi 1980," stating, “The 'Sukabumi 1980' art performance is not just about introducing the history of Sundanese cultural shows from 43 years ago, but also an effort to preserve and revive cultural values that may have been forgotten." Adrian highlighted the event's success as proof that quality cultural events could thrive beyond big cities, inspiring communities to preserve traditional arts amid modern life.

This cultural showcase, reminiscent of Sukabumi in the 1980s, unfolded as a series of traditional art performances. Happy Salma, the producer, performer, and founder of Titimangsa, expressed her deep connection to Sukabumi, her birthplace, and the motivation behind the collaboration with Bakti Budaya Djarum Foundation. In the 1980s, Sukabumi stood out as a hub for traditional arts in West Java, where traditional Sundanese arts like degung, pencak silat, Jaipong dance, and more thrived in schools, ceremonies, and festive gatherings. Having moved to different cities, Salma found herself yearning for the city that shaped her roots, Sukabumi. “Sukabumi holds a special emotional connection for me... From that longing, Bakti Budaya Djarum Foundation and I collaborated to bring back the 'Sukabumi 1980' Traditional Art Performance."

The event aimed to resonate with the local community, particularly those yearning to reconnect with their cultural roots. The testimony of artists dedicated to Sundanese traditions highlighted the reverence for Sukabumi in the 1980s, a time when martial arts schools creatively merged with traditional arts, resulting in the internationally acclaimed Jaipongan dance. Despite a decline in recent years due to musical influences from various parts of the globe, the event strived to present a complete gamelan ensemble, preserving the authenticity of Sundanese traditions.

Ariel Tatum, actress and one of the featured performers in the showcase, expressed her growing interest in Indonesian traditions, particularly traditional dance. Tatum shared, “In recent years, I have become increasingly aware of my high interest in Indonesian traditions and culture passed down by our ancestors... I hope our performance can inspire the community, especially the younger generation, to explore the diverse cultures of Indonesia."

Happy Salma and Ariel Tatum jointly emphasized their desire for the younger generation to feel a connection with and interest in traditional arts. They envisioned the event not just as a performance but as a joyful celebration, a testament to the enduring value of embracing the thoughts and behaviors of predecessors.

Embedded in this vibrant cultural celebration is Titimangsa's legacy, a foundation founded in 2007 by Happy Salma and Yulia Evina Bhara. Over the past 15 years, Titimangsa has played a vital role in enriching Indonesian literature and performing arts, staging 63 productions that transform literary works into captivating performances. As "Sukabumi 1980" beautifully unfolds, Titimangsa's commitment to preserving and revitalizing cultural narratives remains an integral part of Indonesia's artistic journey.


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