Dancing at Ikueisai 2018, Sendai – Japan

Hello there guys!

I finally finished the IB Diploma Programme! I never thought I would be writing again. Which is why I didn’t take a lot of pictures during events anymore. But after a long year, I figured why not?  Sharing my journey with other people had been my main goal when opening this blog. With that, I don’t want my experience in a Japanese high school go to waste.

The last post I uploaded was about the school festival, and now I am going to give an update, exactly a year after the event.

What’s different from Ikueisai 2017 and 2018?

Since it is my last few months in Japan, I figured that I have to do something I will not forget. Turns out a few Indonesian students, Naomi and Hana, also wanted to do the same.

So, we decided to perform on stage! We wanted to introduce Indonesian culture to the Japanese community in our school. Since it’s never been done before by any foreign students at our school, we thought why not? Yes, we are going to show an Indonesian dance routine in front of our school. Not just that, but also the visitors and prospective students of 2019.

There’s were a lot of pressure going on, everyone is hustling and bustling, setting up the stage and decorations; we also had to practice every day after school from 5.30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

At first, we wanted to perform Tari Kembang Kipas, a Betawi dance known for its joyous music. This is because Hana has learned the dance before while she was in Indonesia. So learning it would be easy peasy. But, we weren’t able to find any costume of the dance in Japan. We contacted the Indonesian student’s committee around the country and none of them had a Betawi costume.

So we had to learn our dance from zero.

Eventually, after making sure that we can borrow a costume from Sekolah Republik Indonesia Tokyo (SRIT) we decided to perform to Tari Belibis. It is a traditional dance from the Bali region that tells the story of a group of Belibis birds who were enjoying nature when a cursed Prabu Angling Dharma in the shape of their kind joined them. It is a very graceful dance but with intense facial expressions.

Though we had our doubts, we went for it.

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Two days before Ikueisai 2018 we had a dress rehearsal. It was hilarious. We had to practice with the costume on, which came just two days ago.

It was only our second time wearing the full costume and we had no clue how to use them correctly! Our hat kept on falling off and our top was very slippery. Plus, I ended up injuring my back after dancing the routine five times. It was painful to walk but with just one day before our big day, there’s no room for failure!

D-Day, I came super early to school because the senior exhibition for IB second years is held. This exhibition would be part of our final score and we were so excited to open it with the help of Cohort 4 (Thank you, guys!)

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Naomi (Cohort 4)

However, around 11 a.m. we were called to stand by on the stage. It was an hour earlier than our scheduled performance! We had no time to check our makeup and we ran across the school to the Glory Hall where the indoor stage is. I was so upset because none of our friends are there. They were supposed to be there at 12 instead.

Regardless, the stage needs us and we did our best. I made a few mistakes here and there. The worst part is perhaps that I was breathless because I just ran from the other block. I hope the students didn’t notice that!

Sadly, since I cannot upload videos on this website here’s a sneak peek of our indoor performance.

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After the performance, we were ecstatic. Throughout the song, I can’t seem to stop myself from smiling. It was such a nice feeling to perform what you’ve prepared in front of others!

When we exited the hall, turns out our friends, teachers, and a photographer were just about to watch our performance. I felt so sad because we promised it would be a spectacular performance. So in the way back, we decided to ask Nagamine sensei to let us perform on the outdoor stage once more.

We had to explain our situation for a long time, going back and forth between the student representatives. But finally, they permitted us to.

I was so happy and all of our close friends, family, and teachers sat in the front area while we prepare. This time we had to perform in front of everyne including those who are selling food. Oh the pressure!

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Since this was our second performance in the day, I was not that nervous as before. I knew what I did wrong and in my head, I was repeating the routine over and over to make sure I didn’t do the same mistake as before. Nevertheless, the thought of performing for people who I know made me more excited than ever.

It was tiring but it was a success! Though it was windy, we all did our best. (Pst, I did the most mistake actually!)

I will attach a gif below for you to see.

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Lesson of the story?

Well, I guess sometimes, you can’t show your maximum performance even if you’ve worked really hard. But it is your choice how you act when there’s a chance. To me, ‘yes’ is the greatest answer.

What should I write about next? Comment on the section below or message me through the inbox page!

Here is to taking risks and being creative.

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