A collaboration by journalists and photographers who work as correspondents in Asia

Cross Culture: Indonesian Dance Troupe Evolves Out of Australia’s Suburbs

Cross Culture: Indonesian Dance Troupe Evolves Out of Australia’s Suburbs

The Diplomat’s Luke Hunt interviews the stars of Lestari Girls.

When Ningsih Millane arrived in Australia as a young wife in 1987 from Indonesia she had left behind a life and an art-loving family that spanned the archipelago from Ambon in the west to Makassar in the far east.

But she also brought with her an education in traditional dance, puppetry, and fluency in five Indonesian dialects. Two years later, with more than a touch of homesickness, she established Sanggar Lestari – a studio which enjoys a formidable reputation for dance and fusion.

The stars of her program are the 13-strong Lestari Girls.

They will shortly tour Indonesia where Lestari is establishing a name for itself with domestic audiences entranced by the idea of their local dance being performed on an international stage by English-speaking girls with an Australian accent.

Listen to the Podcast.