KATHIMERINI (daily newspaper)

Thursday 26 August 2004

A Theatre Bus from Indonesia

A bus whose passengers are images and performances from the Indonesian culture which is rich but unknown to most Greeks, is touring the Peloponese as of yesterday. The Stage Bus, an unusual bus - theatre stage - will be moving around the towns of the Peloponese for three weeks, with numerous artists who will be performing songs, music, dance, Indonesian traditional shadow theatre and video projections, bringing to Greece a taste of the 17.500 islands of Indonesia.

Stage on wheels

The bus, 12m in length, “unfolds” on one side and forms a stage … on wheels, on which all performances take place. The Stage Bus tour started yesterday from Nafplion and continues in Argos today while until the 14th of September there will follow towns in all the parts of Peloponese.

The Stage Bus performance, as Indonesia’s ambassasor to Greece, Faishah Soeftendi said, is an offering from the Indonesian government in the framework of the Cultural Olympiad. The collaboration between Greece and Indonesia on the level of cultural exchange started with the visit of the President of the Indonesian Republic to Greece in 2002 and  the arrival of artists’ groups in Greece.

As the president of the Cultural Olympiad, Mr Stamatis Mavros mentioned in his presentation of the programme, “Two months ago, the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia proposed to the Greek government to send the Stage Bus and this progamme was included in the programme of the Cultural Olympiad. The Stage Bus performances are taking place outside Indonesia for the first time and they are part of a more complex show, produced by the cultural organization JakArt which traveled around Indonesia”. As both the Indonesian ambassador and the president of the Cultural Olympiad said, the Stage Bus tour marks the beginning of a two-way collaboration in the cultural arena through the exchange and performance of productions in both countries. It is planned to send a Greek delegation soon to Indonesia. The collaboration between Greece and Indonesia was made official by the signing of an agreement last June.