Fri, Jul 14, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Dance: Messages from remote Indonesian islands

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

The all-male Crying Jailolo is one of two pieces that the EkosDance Company from Indonesia is to perform this weekend at the Experimental Theater in Taipei.

Photo Courtesy of EkosDance Company

Indonesian Eko Supriyanto is an expert in traditional Javanese court dances, but his professional career as a dancer and choreographer has ranged from a featured back-up dancer for Madonna, to Broadway consultant to performer in international theatrical touring productions to academic research.

His EkosDance Company will perform at Taipei’s Experimental Theater this weekend as the final dance production in the National Theater Concert Hall’s Innovation Series.

Balabala will feature two works, Crying Jailolo and Balabala. The first brought Supriyanto to international prominence and grew out of work on a tourism festival for Jailolo in the Maluku Islands, a famed scuba diving area.

Crying Jailolo was inspired by two traditional dances from the region, the destruction of coral reefs from over-fishing and environmental degradation and Supriyanto’s research into maritime cultures.

The performers are seven young men from Jailolo, none of whom were trained as dancers.

Balabala, set on five young women from Jailolo, was inspired by the traditional Indonesian martial art of Pencat Silat. It deconstructs traditionally male dominant war dances through the exploration and use of feminine strength.

■ Experimental Theater ( 國家戲劇院實驗劇場), 21-1 Zhongshan N Rd, Taipei City (台北市中山南路21-1號) tonight and tomorrow at 7:30pm and tomorrow and Sunday at 2:30pm

■ Tickets are NT$800, available at NTCH box offices, online at and at convenience store ticketing kiosks

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