Life remains an unexplainable web of convoluted yet fulfilling experiences; however, it is re-assuring to know there is an abundant source of creative outlets providing “freedom” from the minutiae. Where others seek solace in singing, writing, speaking, and alternate channels, dancing is another great way to loosen up the static as well. Our stories are highlighted through Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, Ballroom dancing, Capoeira and Zumba.  However, it was my pleasure to attend a once in a lifetime dancing tour titled Nan Jombang. Each piece preceding Nan raised levels of serotonin until the first intermission; then magic and power erupted on stage during the second half of the show.

A woman dressed in crimson red martial art attire, seated on the floor, next to a set of drums activated the setting for the performance. Moments later, she shares the stage with a dancing partner as their bodies gracefully, stimulate the passion, and intended sentiment for the story in complete silence. Suddenly, it feels as if fireworks are erupting backstage while soft “thumping” noises echo and additional cast members assemble on stage. Each magnitude of command from individual jolts vibrates through the performance arena.

The action commences as dancers, jump from one set of drums onto another, and long hair from the women dancers swaying back and forth in rhythm while combining synchronized martial arts techniques. The lights flicker and intermingle with each individual section, and the audience remains in constant suspense as we ride through the unknown.

Dancers add improvisation of “background instruments” by patting their stomachs, legs, the floor, and pound on the drums.  The sensory overload reaches the brim, and, I desire more without limits. At the end of the segment, feelings of gratitude, excitement, blended with unspoken shock and love for the discipline behind each maneuver and the story itself as well. Nan Jombang has touched my heart and outshined with his interpretation of the earthquake that struck Indonesia in 2009; an example defining one of my favorite quotes by Charles Swindol: “Life is ten percent of what happens to you and ninety percent how you react to it.”

By: Laura M. Artis.