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10th Indonesian Dance Festival: Goethe Institut Regional Critic Workshop

June 14-18, 2010


 Da Contents H2

INDIGENOUS DANCE: DANA WARANARA
January 27 2016
Dana Waranara—Privilege and Responsibility
Andrea James

introduction
July 12 2010
10th indonesian dance festival: dance, future tense
keith gallasch: regional dance criticism workshop, jakarta


a dance work revived: faith restored
devi fritrai: gusmiati suid, seruan

aspiration and influence
joelle jacinto: final night idf program

beyond absence
bilquis hijjas: meg stuart & philipp gehmacher's maybe forever

borderline control
giang dang: contact gonzo

cool tensions
giang dang: s]h]elf

dancing between tradition & modernity
devi fitria: idf emerging choreographers

dancing into identity
melissa quek: idf emerging choreographers program

dancing to the threshhold
bilqis hijjas: cross over dance company, middle

July 12 2010
earth's slow death dance
melissa quek: asri mery sidowati’s merah

fighting as performance
cat ruka: contact gonzo and sayaka himeno

foreign bodies
giang dang: meg stuart & philipp gehmacher's maybe forever

from betamax to dvd
san phalla: jeckosdance, from betamax to dvd

indonesian contemporary dance: multiple personalities
melissa quek: idf closing program

into the vortex
devi fitria: asri mery sidowati’s merah

journey into light
joelle jacinto: asri mery sidowati’s merah

love and its disconnects
cat ruka: meg stuart & philipp gehmacher's maybe forever

noise in contemporary asian dance
pawit mahasarinand: darkness poomba and contact gonzo

July 12 2010
one shoe on, one shoe off
bilqis hijjas: muslimin b pranowo, the young

shaking the spectator's heart
phalla san: kim jae duk, darkness poomba

strange worlds, mutating forms
cat ruka: kim jae duk's darkness poomba

such is life, and so is love
pawit mahasarinand: meg stuart & philipp gehmacher's maybe forever

when does forever end?
joelle Jacinto: meg stuart & philipp gehmacher’s maybe forever

working the audience
melissa quek: contact gonzo & darkness poomba

 

cool tensions

giang dang: s]h]elf

Giang Dang is a Hanoi-based journalist, editor and cultural activist.

S]h]elf S]h]elf
photo Phalla San
IN THE MILD BLUE LIGHT OF THE DIM STAGE, TWO YOUNG WOMEN IN WHAT LOOK LIKE SWIM SUITS CRUISE ON WHAT APPEAR TO BE SHORTENED SURF BOARDS FRINGED WITH BLUE LIGHTS. SPINNING, GLIDING SOUNDLESSLY ON THE FLOOR, IT LOOKS LIKE AJENG AND ANGGIE ARE FLOATING IN A SWIMMING POOL, ENJOYING THEMSELVES ON A STARRY NIGHT.

S]h]elf, a collection of loosely bound short episodes, opens the second night of the 10th Indonesian Dance Festival. Next, the protagonists are busily quarrelling. Exchanging extra-large t-shirts they are soon entangled. Awkwardly bound they mouth Barbie doll interactions of the “I love you, but I hate you too” and the “Get away, but don’t leave me alone” kind. Welcome, say the program notes, to the world of South Jakartan, affable, middle-class youngsters.

Another scene has Anggie moving slowly from the periphery to centrestage, stopping after each little step, upper body leaning, shaking uncontrollably. Only her feet and fists are held firm, as if she wants to run away but can’t. She grimaces: is she crying or laughing? Is she drugged? It takes her an eternity to reach the front of the stage. Looking straight at the audience, she burps. “Give me a break. To hell with your social conventions," she seems to say. In another episode, Ajeng turns a roll of toilet paper into a mock camera, 'shooting' the dozens of people in the audience whose cameras have produced endless clicking ever since the performance commenced.

Performed by Ajeng Soelaiman (born 1984) and Andara 'Anggie' Firman Moeis (born 1986), and choreographed in collaboration with Fitri Setyanigsih (born 1978)—all rising stars of the Indonesian dance scene—the work is fun, unfussy and has an air of ironic coolness. The set consists of two mobile glass revolving doors and metallic cubic frames hanging low from above, suggesting the worlds of entertainment and shopping. The performance is a self-portrait; drawing on their own lives the women play themselves, and they do so convincingly, with touches of self-irony.

What does it mean to be female, young, well-off and sophisticated in a Muslim society? At one point, Ajeng uses lipstick to draw a heart on glass, but her hand slips and the drawing becomes a confused mess of lines. Later, she stands in front of a glass door, facing the audience, in full evening dress. Radiating an amiable elegance, she bends to one side as if is about to dance. The music is a soothing, chill-out waltz. Gracefully, she raises her hand and gives the audience the finger. Or is the glass frame actually a mirror, and is she signalling self-disgust?

Whether rebellion or self-examination, it's a fleeting gesture. At the end of the work, the two young women stand around a table of wine glasses, as if at a party. While Ajeng plays with two glasses, bored, pouring wine from one to another, Anggie, in a continuous slow motion loop, drains the dark content of each glass in a mouthful, throws the empty over her shoulder and reachs for another. There is no loud smashing of glass, no emotional crisis, no theatrical breakdown, just the embracing comfort of boredom. It’s the end of the party. Too tired for anything wild, the pair choose to stay in air-conditioned comfort, souls numb, surrounded by broken glass and broken hearts.


10th Indonesian Dance Festival: S]h]elf, performed and choreographed by Ajeng Soelaimanand Andara Firman Moeis with Fitri Setyanigsih;Teater Luwes, Jakarta, June 15

Giang Dang is a Hanoi-based journalist, editor and cultural activist.

© Giang Dang; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

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