The Biography of DIDIK NINI THOWOK: International Modern Dancer/Choreographer.

Essay by gc_susetyoCollege, UndergraduateA-, September 2005

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Note: (This assignment was given to me when I needed to do 28 hours translation work from another language. The source biography was written in Indonesian and appeared as a serial biography in Femina Magazine. The following work is my own translation of the biography into English)


Didik Nini Thowok had to delay his post-high school goal to attend the ASTI Yogya Dance Academy due to the lack of funds. Instead, Didik had to work as an hourly waged employee at Temanggung's Culture Council and teach dance in schools. However, his dream never died. He continued to save penny after penny to fund his study. Finally, in spring 1974, Didik was accepted as a student of ASTI.

Unwilling to burden his parents, Didik supported his own studies and life in Yogya; by receiving orders for tailor-made clothes, among others. On days where the need for cash was particularly urgent, Didik had to go as far as selling his trousers or take his bike to the pawnbroker.

Didik's fame and fortune began to work in favour of him as he joined the musical Nini Thowok; thus 'baptizing' him into Didik Nini Thowok.

PART ONE: Dancing Lessons from the Barber.

The famous Jalan Maliboro was in a complete traffic congestion on that hot mid-December 2004 afternoon. No, it was not a national holiday, nor was there any political demonstrations held on that main street of Yogyakarta. What is happening?

On the sidewalk before the Yogyakarta City Council, a 'beautiful lady' with her hair done up Javanese style, was seen descending gracefully from the horse carriage. She had a tall, slender, and sexy posture, and her makeup was quite goudy. She was clothed in a tight, light blue kebaya dress down to her knees. But as you see her...