MIT Natya, Thai Students at MIT &
Sanggar Kinanthi Indonesian Art/Culture Center proudly present

Balinese Cast and Musician Biographies


  • Christina Lhaksmita Anandari
    Christina Lhaksmita Anandari is a Boston University School of Education Graduate student, majoring in English and Language Arts. Balinese dance has captured her heart since childhood, thus she started to learn the dance, Panji Semirang in particular, at the age of 9. This collaborative yet eventful performance is an exciting experience for her as this is her first performance ever in the U.S., and she feels very fortunate to be given the opportunity to be one of the Balinese dance casts.

  • Iswidyasari Istarto ( Denok )
    She has been dancing the Indonesian traditional dances since she was 7 years old. Dancing experiences include dancing for the Southeast Asian GAMES opening ceremony in 1997; participated in the Indonesian cultural night in 2002 at Bunker Hill College and 2004 at Boston University; choreographed a dance at the cultural night in 2003, perform Balinese dances with Gamelan Galak Tika at MIT and other various locations for almost 2 years. She has a strong interest in culture and travel, as well as in business and investment. After graduating from Northeastern University, she is currently working in the travel business. The person sees dancing as a way to appreciate arts, do cultural activities, and to meet people.

  • Cynthia C. Laksawana
    Cynthia started learning Balinese dance at age 8 with several Balinese dance masters at the art gallery of Nyoman Gunarsa in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. She continued her dancing study at STSI (now ISI) in Yogyakarta - Indonesia under the direction of ISI Professor Ni Nyoman Sudewi. When she came to Boston in 1993 pursuing her graduate study in Chemical Engineering and Engineering Management at Northeastern University in Boston, MA, she had the opportunity to learn more Balinese dances from the renowned Balinese dance master/composer/singer Desak Made Suarti Laksmi and her husband, Balinese Dance Master, I Nyoman Catra, the co-founders of Gamelan Galak Tika of MIT at Cambridge, MA. She has been performing with Gamelan Galak Tika throughout the years where she is the dance director of the group. She has been teaching several students who have interest in learning Balinese dances to keep the Balinese dances alive in Boston area. Together with her husband Joshua W. Utomo, they founded "Sanggar Kinanthi (tm)" the Indonesian Art & Cultural Center. She is presently working as Validation Engineer for Invensys Validation Technologies based in Foxboro, MA.

  • Laila Munaf
    Laila has been dancing Indonesian traditional dance since she was seven years old. In 1998 she began her 1st international dance performance in Turkey. She has been performing Balinese dance with Gamelan Galak Tika when she came to Boston in 1999. Currently she is a junior at Northeastern University majoring in Finance.

  • Anne Ridwan-Natanagara
    Anne is a graduate student of Emerson College majoring in Global Marketing Communication and Advertising. She studied traditional Balinese dances as an extracurricular activity, which became handy when she and her family were transferred to live abroad and she was asked to perform in many cultural events. Later she studied Sumatra dances from the partner of Sampan Ismanto, a reknowned choreographer.

  • Amme Natasaputra
    Amme started dancing at the age of 4. Her first dance was ballet, but after 5 years of practice, she decided to learn Indonesian traditional dances. Her passion of dancing became bigger and that’s when she learned other dances like ChaCha, Salsa and Rumba. At the age of 17, she became a choreographer for a local high school. Although most of her years filled with many dances and performances, the first time she got an opportunity to learn Balinese dance was when she came to Boston to do her bachelor degree in Suffolk University.

  • Amanda Tantri W. Ramly
    Tantri is an undergraduate at Pine Manor College majoring in communication media. She has been studying many types of dances; western dances and Indonesian traditional dances such as Balinese, Javanese and Sumatran. When she was living in DC in the 80s and 90s , she performed several Indonesian traditional dances at the Indonesian Embassy in Washington DC. "Ballroom Dance Competition" held in Jakarta in 2003 was her 1st national competition. She is enjoying the great opportunity to be part of this join venture between the Indonesian, Thai and Indian dancers in presenting the "Ramayana".

  • Joshua W. Utomo
    Joshua W. Utomo is a puppeteer/storyteller, poet, writer, and actor/director. As an artist he has been performing traditional and modern theatricals plays independently and with various theatrical groups since 1981. He has also been giving puppets shows/storytelling performances to children and adult audiences since 1989. In 1990, he created poetry and children storytelling programs for healing and education purposes. He earned an advance certification for the standard Javanese Cultural Studies at LKJ (Javanese Cultural Institute) where he studied Javanese art and culture with some gurus from the Surakarta Royal Palace in Surakarta, Indonesia. He obtained M.Div. degree from Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and Post-Master Certification in International Mission and Ecumenical Studies from Boston Theological Institute in 1999. He is also the founder of The Heal & Grow Center(tm) - a compassionate, caring, committed, and creative psychotherapy/coaching/yoga/Pilate center.

  • Theresia Rorik Wahyudhanti
    Rorik is a graduate student of theSchool of Education at the Boston University, started dancing at the age of 7. She was trained underPadepokan Bagong Kusudiharjo, in Central Java,Indonesia , to learn the ‘Kreasi Baru’ Javanese dance. After being trained in that 'Padepokan' for five years, she began to learn the classical Javanese style. Her first performance upon her arrival in Boston was in the Indonesian culture night in May 2004. Being one of the dancers in this epic Ramayana is so exciting since it would be her first performancewith the Balinese style.

  • MIT
    Comments and questions to natya-exec[at]