Miroto Dance Company

Miroto, a renowned Dancer cum Choreographer from Yogyakarta

The low-profile, friendly and open-minded Martinus Miroto has official profession as a dance lecturer at the prestigious ISI – Indonesia Institute of the Arts in the city of Yogyakarta.

To be a dancer and a choreographer for him is a natural gift combined with a long years of love and serious learning since his childhood.

He was born in Yogyakarta February 23, 1959, Turusan, the place where he was born and lives now, years ago was a tranquil traditional village in the outskirts of the city. As there was no electricity, moonlight was very important for the kids. During the moonlight, the children were playing together in the village’s yard, singing and dancing. The small kid Miroto enjoyed the game very much and deep in his heart he had decided to keep the joyous moment forever.

Since the age of nine, after seeing a Javanese Dance Performance in the neighboring village, he had strong will to be a dancer. His father, a gamelan musician understood his child strong wish.

In the age of 13, his father called a private dance trainer to teach Miroto the basic movements of Javanese dance.

In 1976 to 1980, he learned at SMKI – Yogyakarta, the High School of Performing Arts. Since 1981, he studied at ASTI Dance Academy (now is ISI)

Besides learning in formal schools in order to improve his skill and knowledge in Dance and Art, he learned also from several famous Javanese Dance Gurus such as Romo Sasminto, Bagong Kussudiardjo, Prof. Dr. Wisnu Wardhana, Ben Suharto, Sardono W. Kusumo, Suprapto etc.

He was not satisfied only to learn in the home country. He crossed the boundary to gain a world class knowledge. Thus, in 1987/88, he went to Germany to learn from the dance maestro and choreographer, Pina Bausch.

In 1992-1995, he studied in the University of California where he got his M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) degree.

During that time, Miroto always participated in many dance performances in Indonesia and abroad, as a Javanese classical dancer or contemporary dancer. Since 1979, he has created 38 choreographies.

Kembang Sampah – The Garbage Flower

His newest dance creation is The Garbage Flower performed during the Art Summit II in October 6 & 7, 1998 in Jakarta.

Miroto has obsession with Garbage. Every time he sees garbage, he sees the reality of people behavior in the society. It is against his moral principle, if some people equate someone social status with material achievement.

The low-profile and sincere Yogyanese, to some extent practicing the open expressive western communication, has found the way-out thru his contemporary choreography. The greediness in pursuing material wealth and high ranking position which resulting social injustice and disorder are shocking his heart.

He is horrified witnessing some people treat others as not human beings, treated them like garbage. He is wishing for a just and civilized manner in the society.

In this choreography, the blend of Javanese dance and the modern dance theatre have been worked-out perfectly. The dancers such as Mugiyono, Fajar, Cahyaningtyas, Bambang S, Hery, Besar W, Rini, Budiawan, Widaru K and of course, Miroto have performed impressively, in the same line with the spiritual meaning and goals of the dance.

The ‘manipulation’ of an empty drum was magnifique. The music composed by Djadug Ferianto and the costume design by Samuel Wattimena have amazingly matched with the dance movements, which in turn bring a solid successful team work, backed up of course by the professional stage crew.

The 70 minutes ‘Garbage Flower’, has been applauded warmly by the audience and received a thumb-up by many dance lovers and critics.

Pina Bausch, Miroto’s Respected Dance Guru from Germany

With the courtesy of Goethe Institut, Jakarta, Miroto had the chance to study dance theatre in Germany in 1987/88. He met the legendary Pina Bausch at Wuppertal Dance Theatre. Pina Bausch herself is not a teacher, she is a dancer and choreographer. Miroto was allowed to watch all the dance trainings and performances conducted at Wuppertal under Pina’s supervision.

His first impression of her, she was very kind, hard working, expert in dance, professional and above anything else she kept tight discipline. With her direction, Miroto was sent to Folkwang Dance Academy to learn dance. His teacher was a noted dancer Malou Airaodo, he learned a lot from her.  

His contact in Germany was a German noted dance critic, Jochen Schmidt. He helped him greatly, by arranging him to meet with several German noted dancers and choreographers and to watch some valuable dance theatre performances. 

He never missed the rehearsals of Pina Bausch, he had seen all her creations, at that time more than 30 choreographies thru video, in her private office. 

Miroto has performed a Javanese classical dance – Klono Topeng in front of her. She loved the dance and sincerely said: so beautiful!

Pina Bausch hailed the beauty of Indonesia and once she said to Miroto:

" you are lucky, you live in a place where you can see the sun everyday".



Tour in Europe and USA

Miroto has made several tour world-wide, but one of his most impressive experience was when he joined the performance of "The Persians" as actor and dancer, directed by the famous American artist Peter Sellars for a six month tour performance in Europe and the US in 1993.

University of California, L.A, - U.S.A

While he was studying for his master degree, he assigned also as teacher of Javanese dance in the same University as from 1992 to 1995.

Following his Teachers’ examples

Miroto always keep in memory, every positive and specific behavior and advices from all his teachers. He has special memories from each of them, among other from:

Romo Sasminto - perfectness
Pina Bausch - long time and patient training.
Pak Bagong Kussudiardjo - courage to create choreography

Pak Bagong said: "if you wish to be a successful choreographer, you have to have courage to create choreography , you have to!

Miroto admits that Pak Bagong’s words have push him to create more and more choreographies.

Looking forward for better future

At present Miroto is a lecturer of choreography and Javanese Dance in ISI – Indonesia Institute of the Arts, Faculty of Performing Arts

Since 1989, he is also the Founder and Director of Miroto Dance Company, with contemporary repertoire based on Indonesian traditional dance.

He is convinced that dance, traditional and contemporair ones, should have a better development in the future.

His address:

Institut of the Arts
Faculty of Performing Arts
Jalan Parangtritis K.M 6.5
PO. Box 1210
Yogyakarta 55001
Phone +62 - 0274 – 375 380
Fax +62 - 0274 – 371 233 & 379 133
Banyuraden, Gamping, Sleman
Yogyakarta 22593
Phone / fax : +62 - 0274 – 617191

Suryo S. Negoro

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