Visitors to West Halmahera will always be mesmerized by its marine tourist attractions in the form of small islands, beautiful beaches, and a marine park with various types of ornamental fish species.
One of them is John Heginbotham, the founder and artistic director of the Dance Heginbotham, who said that he was fascinated by the natural beauty of Jailolo Bay.
The picturesque Jailolo Bay, surrounded by cliffs and boasting clear waters in West Halmahera, hosts the Jailolo Bay Festival every year to showcase local ceremonies and traditional customs, fun diving, culinary festival, and marvelous dance performances, along with the local culture.
"Jailolo is the most beautiful place in West Halmahera that I have ever visited," Heginbotham remarked in Jakarta, Thursday.
John Heginbotham graduated from Juilliard in 1993 and was a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group from 1998 to 2012. In 2011, he founded Dance Heginbotham (DH), a performance group devoted to the presentation of his dance and theatrical work.
In addition to DH, he has choreographed many independent projects, including several operas, and in July 2014, the Atlanta Ballet premiered his first ballet, Angels Share.
Heginbotham frequently incorporates live music in his work, having worked with Alarm Will Sound, American Classical Orchestra, Brooklyn Rider, and Fischerspooner, in addition to Raymond Scott Orchestrette, Tyondai Braxton, Colin Jacobsen, Gabriel Kahane, and Shara Worden, among others.
He is a recipient of the 2014 Jacobs Pillow Dance Award and two Jerome Robbins Foundation New Essential Works (NEW) Fellowships, in 2010 and 2012.
Heginbotham has garnered a reputation for engaging dance students of all ages and abilities.
He is on the faculty at Princeton University and has worked in academic institutions such as Barnard College and Dartmouth College.
The founder and artistic director of the Dance Heginbotham then analogizes the natural beauty of West Halmahera, especially Jailolo, as a dance that is very beautiful.
"If ever there is a choreographer who changes the natural beauty of Jailolo in the form of dance and shows it to everyone, he surely will be very well known around the world," Heginbotham noted.
He finds not only the natural beauty, but also the local wisdom in Jalilo very interesting, because the Jailolo people are very friendly and hospitable, he said.
The people of Jailolo are the most awesome audience he had ever encountered anywhere in the world where he had performed his dances, Heginbotham mentioned.
Dance Heginbotham has quickly established itself as one of the most adventurous and exciting new companies on the American contemporary dance scene.
This dynamic, forward-thinking company furthers its deep commitment to collaboration across artistic disciplines through activities in Indonesia, Laos, and the Philippines.
In Indonesia, Dance Heginbotham visited a few places to hold a demonstration of dance and dance classes as at the State University of Jakarta, the Jakarta Arts Institute, Yogyakarta State University, and in Jailolo, West Halmahera.
The residents of Jailolo were very enthusiastic about what was presented by the dance group of the Dance Heginbotham, Heginbotham noted.
"In addition, the residents of Jailolo also always provided endless applause when the dances were performed. When the show ended, it turned into a dance party attended by almost all residents of Jailolo," he said.
Jailolo sub-district in West Halmahera, in the past few years, has regularly held Jailolo Bay Festival to attract both domestic and foreign tourists to the district.
Attempting to attract more domestic and foreign tourists, the Tourism, Culture, Youth, Sports and Creative Economy Office of West Halmahera District in North Maluku Province is developing ten villages which have the potential to serve as tourist villages.
"The ten villages have evolved into independent tourist villages," Head of Tourism Destination Development, Nur Rahmiani Achmad, said in Ternate some time ago.
The ten villages are Bobo, Bobanehena, Guaemaadu, and Guaeria, in addition to Gamlamo, Tuada, Gamtala, and Lako Akediri. Ropu Tengah Bulu and Akelomo are the other two villages.
The development of such tourist villages is expected to increase public awareness about their tourism potential.
"The community is motivated to explore their cultural treasures," Achmad said.
One of the events being organized at the tourist village is the Jailolo Bay Festival.
Other packages offered by the tourist village management is Guaeria Fishermen tourism, which has served 104 domestic and foreign tourists from Ukraine, Chile and Poland.
"The foreign tourists like the typical culinary preparations of Guaeria and really enjoy the scenery and underwater panorama in this village," Achmad said.
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