Sangkala 9/10: a Piece of Batavia History

After succeeding with two previous musical drama Cinta Dasima (2009) and Doel (2010) that brought Betawi culture in the performances, recently Ikatan Abang None Jakarta or IANTA continued its success with Sangkala  9/10. The play was performed on May 6-8, 2011 in Jakarta’s most magnificent theater building, Teater Jakarta in Taman Ismail Marzuki arts center.

The script of Sangkala 9/10 was written based on true story of Batavia in 1740 that tells about Betawi people and Chinese struggle to combat VOC or Dutch colonialism. Although the setting takes place during war, it didn’t make this play boring. SANGKALA 9/10 involved humor, romance and dances that created light and entertaining performance. The romantic part in this story was about Lily an ethnic Chinese girl and Said a Betawi boy. They struggled to fight for their love during the conflict against VOC. However, this play was not recommended for children since it showed a scene of tragic Chinese massacre conducted by the Dutch that happened during a sunset on October 9, 1740 (9/10/1740). The word sangkala in English means sunset or twilight. That’s why this theater production was titled Sangkala 9/10.

Directed by Ajie N.A. from PEQHO Teater, Sangkala 9/10 cast consisted of 70 alumni of Abang None Jakarta. Some famous figures were also spotted as the casts in the performance such as Indra Bekti, Teuku Zacky, Iwet Ramadhan and Tommy Tjokro. Maudy Koesnady, also an alumni of Abang None Jakarta was the producer of Sangkala 9/10. Raden Sirait, who is famous for his “Kebaya For The World” theatrical fashion show, contributed as costume designer for Sangkala 9/10. Moreover, some of his kebaya from “Kebaya For The World” collection were showcased by Abang None Jakarta alumni during the break of Sangkala 9/10.

Having watched the show, I could safely say that Sangkala 9/10 was such a complete performance emphasizing on culture, history and fashion.