Traditional dancing on display in Surabaya

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Sonia Clark (author), LCDR Kingsley Scarce (photographer), LSIS Bradley Darvill (photographer)

Location(s): Surabaya

Topic(s): HMAS Arunta (F151), HMAS Sirius (A266), South East Asia Deployment, Exercise NEW HORIZON

Petty Officer Shepherd performs a traditional Aboriginal dance at the cocktail party and Ceremonial Sunset held on board HMAS Arunta while berthed alongside Surabaya during the shore phase of Ex New Horizon. (photo: LSIS Bradley Darvill)
Petty Officer Shepherd performs a traditional Aboriginal dance at the cocktail party and Ceremonial Sunset held on board HMAS Arunta while berthed alongside Surabaya during the shore phase of Ex New Horizon.

Hosts and guests alike were treated to a feast of the senses at a showcase of traditional dance during the recent Exercise NEW HORIZON 2015 in Surabaya, Indonesia.
 
HMA Ships Sirius and Arunta conducted a two day port visit as part of the biannual exercise with the Indonesian Navy.
 
The first reception was held on board Arunta and guests enjoyed a powerful display by Petty Officer Communication and Information Systems Samuel Sheppard performing the Karju Welcome Dance of the Doonooch tribe.
 
Able Seaman Maritime Logistic Support Operations Jessica Gunning was part of the hospitality team for the evening and said all eyes were on Petty Officer Sheppard during the dance and there were video cameras from every angle.


"The locals had never seen anything like it before and it remained the topic of conversation for the rest of the evening." she said. 
 
On the following night, the Indonesian Navy returned the gesture with a showcase of traditional Indonesian dance, which told a story of good and evil through the expressive art form. The dances were performed by the ships' companies of the two Indonesian ships who had spent weeks preparing for the performance.
 
Sub Lieutenant Aidan Gallagher, was amongst the guests and said it was an entertaining performance.


"The dance really brought the story to life and it was a privilege to be able to witness such a display of traditional culture during an important bilateral exercise," he said.

The ships then participated in the sea phase in the Java Sea, conducting gunnery, submarine and night encounter exercises. Sirius also conducted a dual replenishment with the two participating Indonesian Navy ships, proving our ongoing interoperability and continued strong relations with the Indonesian Navy.