September 10, 2010

Press Release

Press Inquiries:

Wan-Chao Dance, Gadung Kasturi Balinese Dance and Music, HEI GU Chinese Percussion Ensemble, and Midiyanto present Keep Her Safe, Please! Jakarta 1998

Trailblazing choreographer Wan-Chao Chang explores the universal struggle of immigrants in a stunning and incisive work inspired by the Jakarta riots of 1998

“Deeply embodied non-Western movement that could only be possible with the cultural migrations and fusions of the past thirty years." ~Keith Hennessy,

Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center, 99 Marina Blvd., San Francisco CA 94109 (Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street entrance)
Saturday October 16, 2010 8:00pm, Sunday October 17, 1:00pm
Ticket Prices:
Advance - $18, Door - $20, Students/Seniors - $12
Box Office:
Phone – 415.345.7575, Online:
Event website:
Video excerpts:

San Francisco, Sept 1, 2010-- Wan-Chao Dance, in collaboration with Gadung Kasturi Balinese Dance and Music, HEI GU Chinese Percussion Ensemble, and Midiyanto, present Keep Her Safe, Please! Jakarta 1998, a bold work of contemporary dance and music drawn from classical Chinese and Indonesian traditions, on Oct 16-17, 2010. In Keep Her Safe, Please! Jakarta 1998, choreographer Chang elegantly weaves the threads of traditional forms into a new context, examining the struggle between ethnic conflict and positive cultural exchange. The evening’s performance will be accompanied by live original music on Chinese percussion and Indonesian gamelan.

The work is inspired by the anti-Chinese riots in Indonesia in 1998, in which Chinese people, especially women, were killed and raped in unknown numbers. Keep Her Safe, Please! Jakarta 1998 speaks to the plight of all immigrants, and examines how displacement can transform people, places, and cultural identity. Through a delicate and refined approach, Chang synthesizes her rich background in Classical Chinese, Central Asian, Balinese, and Javanese dance. Chang’s work sensitizes us to the commonality of the human experience, while embracing the beauty and diversity of culture as reflected in the language of dance. Through soaring and beautifully forged ensemble work, the dance poses a most difficult question: are our human commonalities enough to heal the wounds of social and political unrest?

For Keep Her Safe, Please! Jakarta 1998, Chang collaborated with accomplished Balinese dancer Kompiang Metri-Davies, who lends her years of experience as a traditional dancer and choreographer to the work. The evening’s performance will also feature Kompiang’s group Gadung Kasturi, presenting the premier of the new work Nyapuh Jagat, as well as Condong and Kebyar Duduk, traditional Balinese dances accompanied by gamelan.

Artists Involved

Since arriving in the US in 1995 from Taiwan, Wan-Chao Chang (choreographer, performer) has performed with critically acclaimed companies Ballet Afsaneh, Gamelan Sekar Jaya, Harsanari Indonesian Dance Company, Gadung Kasturi Balinese Dance and Music, Chinese Folk Dance Association, and Westwind International Folk Ensemble, which she directed from 2001-2002. Chang has followed her passion, celebrating the harmony of world dance and bringing her diverse disciplines together. In 2008 she founded Wan-Chao Dance, an ethno-contemporary dance company which aims to create new works rooted in traditional dance forms. Her goal is to sensitize audiences to the shared human experience, while embracing the diversity and beauty reflected in culture through the language of dance. Chang herself has directly witnessed and experienced the struggles of an immigrant: she is currently fighting for her ability to stay in the U.S., where she has been living, teaching, and producing art for the last fifteen years.

Kompiang Metri-Davies (choreographer, performer) is an accomplished traditional dancer who began studying Balinese dance at the age of five in her village of Ngis in Eastern Bali, Indonesia. Soon after arriving in the United States in 1994, she became a lead dancer with Gamelan Sekar Jaya, the premier American Balinese dance and music ensemble. She was a member of this organization for ten years before forming her own ensemble in 2007, Gadung Kasturi Balinese Dance and Music.

Midiyanto (composer) is an internationally known musician and shadow master (dhalang), who has performed in Indonesia, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore over the past twenty years. He established a gamelan foundation in 2000 in his home town, Wonogiri, and financed the education of 50 students between five and fifteen years of age. Currently he is Lecturer at UC Berkeley and the co-director of Gamelan Sari Raras.

Jason Jong (composer) is founder and director of HEI GU Chinese Percussion Ensemble, which seeks to reclaim the legacy of Chinese percussive arts through traditional and contemporary works. For the past 20 years, Jason has used percussion as a medium to explore ways in which rhythm and sound can give voice to culture and community. Jason performs with Asian Crisis, Vanessa Vo and Breath of Asia, and Kulintang Dance Theater. He has performed with Noh Buddies, Melody of China, Gen Taiko, Anthony Brown and the Asian American Orchestra and Yuenlin Chen.

Press Images

(click to download)

Photographed: "Keep Her Safe, Please! Jakarta 1998" Kompiang Metri-Davies, Wan-Chao Chang
Original Photography:  Thomas Snuggs

Photographed:  "Keep Her Safe, Please!" Wan-Chao Dance
Photography: Brad Dosland - Taboo Media

Photographed:  "Nyapuh Jagat" Gadung Kasturi Balinese Dance and Music
Copyright (c) 2010 by Markus Storzer - Mbitions Photograph