Followed by a YouTube broadcast by the Presidential Secretariat in Jakarta, the gala dinner began with a menu serving the nuances of "Nusantara, The Forest," accompanied by the strumming of the Sasando musical instrument, a stringed instrument typical of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) made of curved palm leaves.
Sasando's excerpt sang the tunes of "What a Wonderful World," which was popularized by Louis Armstrong, and then strung together with the songs "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton and "Leaving on a Jet Plane" by John Denver.
The series of events continued with a short speech by Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) as well as the opening of the gala dinner.
"Good evening, and welcome to the 43rd ASEAN Summit Gala Dinner. I know it has been a long day. We have a summit meeting today, but now, let us enjoy tonight and celebrate our togetherness tonight," he said.
President Jokowi said Indonesia presented the best works of young Indonesian artists at the event.
The open stage, with dimensions of around 50 x 30 square meters, features various art performances from each ASEAN country and a series of musical entertainments from several artists from the capital.
Dira Sugandi kicked off the performance of the capital's artists by singing the song "Mahadaya Cinta" by composer Guruh Soekarno Putra.
Guitarist Tohpati appeared to accompany music group Sashadania in singing the song "September" by composers Al McKay, Alle Willis, and Maurice White.
Singer Andien crooned the song C.H.R.I.S.Y.E. with composers Laleimanino and Tohpati.
Andien also sang a duet with Teddy Adhitya, performing the song Tomorrow (A Better You, Better Me) by composers George Johnson, Louise Johnson, and Siedah Garrett.
The event was made even more livelier with the appearance of the duet of musicians Yura Yunita and Afgan, who performed regional songs – Rasa Sayange and Nonton Bioskop – wrapped in modern arrangements.
This was followed by a performance by singer, Rinni, who made the invited guests dance to the song "Dancing Queen" written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson.
No less exuberant was the band Shine of Black from Papua that performed the song "Jang Ganggu," which was followed by performances by Silet Open Up and Saykoji titled "Kaka Main Salah."
Several invited guests from among the ministers of the Indonesia Maju Cabinet, along with a number of ASEAN organization country leaders, seemingly moved from the dining table and joined in swaying to the musical tunes in front of the stage when Aurelie Moeremans performed the songs "Cikini Gondangdia" and "No Comment."
The gala dinner, which lasted for about two hours starting at 20:00 WIB, was closed by a burst of fireworks accompanied by the singing of Afgan, who returned to perform Michael Jackson’s single "Heal The World”.
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