One day after World War II in Solingen, a little girl had just joined her first children’s ballet group. She was surprised that not all the kids could effortlessly bend their feet and legs as she did. The girl’s teacher praised her for that. From then on, the little kid knew what she had always wanted to do.
Dancing: it became a fantastic “new world” not only for the little Pina Bausch, who later known as a prominent choreographer, but also for another little girl on the other sides of the world. The child’s name is Adhika Annissa, or you can call her Ninus. If Pina found her love for dancing at the age of five, Ninus realized her talent when she was in the third grade of elementary school.
She was unique, just like Pina. Instead of following her friends in a dance group for her age, Ninus was more interested in the dance movement and song taught in the class for bigger kids. With full of curiosity, the little girl peeked at the older children group who was in the middle of practicing. She was drawn into the rhythm of Copacabana, captivated by their gestures, steps, and flows that were all astounding for the little girl. The teacher was astonished by her ability to memorize and repeat the movements. “I think I had a strong visual memory,” Ninus said, recalling her memories. Her teacher and parents then moved her up to the higher-level group.
Since then, Ninus continued to dance. She practiced the so-called traditional and modern dances. After taking a break in high school, she made a come back while being an architecture student at Parahyangan Catholic University in Bandung. She became a professional dancer for commercials, big productions with Kinarya GSP owned by the renowned Guruh Soekarno Putra. She was also a dancer for “Heart Records,” (2014) a theatrical concert by the Jakarta Broadway Team.
It was some vigorous years for the young dancer who about to go stellar. But one day, she had to take a break, again. Bronchitis and weight loss made her changed her plans. Ninus resettled to Bali in 2014 for a better health condition. She returned to architecture, worked at a bureau. After three months, she was out of the woods and could not wait to start dancing again. This time, she explores the contemporary one, as a dancer and choreographer. She embraces architecture as an inspiration for her to respond to spaces, compositions, and lights.
Her first project in Bali was the 2015 Sprites Art and Creative Biennale, for which she created a dance performance. She then presented another work for the same festival in the year of 2017. To express her concern about the taboo within society, Ninus created a collaborative performance entitled “Tabu Project” that won the 2019 grant from Kelola Foundation.
Despite the warm welcome she received from the arts communities and the public in Bali, Ninus still has the earnestness to humbly critique the current state of the contemporary dance development on this island. For her, there are enormous materials that still can be explored by the dancers in Bali. Besides, collaboration is needed more.
As part of her critique, she also challenges herself not to stop learning. She loves to learn from many sources, including watching the performances of Nicholas Palmquist, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Ohad Naharin, Alexander Ekman, Eko Supriyanto, and Pina Bausch. Recently, together with a Bali based photographer and videographer, Wayan Martino, she delves into dance film making. “Being the person behind the scenes seems interesting for me,” said the aspiring director.
The little Ninus would be proud to see herself now establishing her own dance class. It is called “Kelas Nari,” an alternative dance class in Bali. Here, anyone from any age and background can learn traditional dances from various regions in Indonesia. The course is held every Saturday in Rumah Sanur and Umah Nusa Dua. By the time she realized that Kelas Nari also becomes a place for its members to share each other’s stories. She dreamed that someday Kelas Nari could be transformed into a creative space where multidisciplinary collaboration would be formed.
To keep updated about Ninus, check out her Instagram @Ninus_
To join Kelas Nari, follow and DM @kelasnari for more info!