By Adrienne Kleinman, Forecast Public Art Intern
Dancer Tri Sutrisno will be featured in Nancy Ann Coyne’s upcoming public art piece Speaking of Home project. The project explores what home means to 58 immigrants from around the globe. The downtown St. Paul public art installation will showcase participants who have immigrated to the Twin Cities for jobs, family, and the promise of greater opportunity. Several of the participants are artists including Tri Sutrisno .
Tri was born in 1963 in Sragen, Central Java, Indonesia. The art of dance was a central part of her life at an early age. In high school she began teaching and choreographing dance. Tri recalls, “Before emancipation, an Indonesian woman was not allowed to be her own person…” The idea that women can truly do anything is still an inspiration to Tri.
Tri moved to the Twin Cities in 1995 when her husband was invited to teach gamelan, Indonesian percussion orchestra, for the Schubert Club in Saint Paul. Later they established the Sumunar Indonesian Music and Dance Ensemble in Minneapolis where she serves as dance director. She teaches dance in the Midwest through residences, workshops, and community classes to all ages from kindergarten through college and beyond. Her students are very eager and interested in learning her style of Indonesian dance. She especially loves here how open-minded, diverse, and dynamic the community is and how thriving the arts are.
It is a point of speculation whether or not Tri would have felt differently about living in the Twin Cities had she not found her niche within the dance community. Would she still feel such a strong sense of belonging, or possess ties to this place as home? We will never know for sure, but being in the arts community certainly has secured her a place of her own.
If you’re in town on November 16th, please come and see Tri and her students perform her craft in the Sundin Music Hall at Hamline University in St. Paul. Check out her dance studio’s site for more information.