A production that features two performances directed by Taiwanese and Indonesian choreographers aims to express “emotional exchanges.”
The 1 hour, 40 minute program at the National Theater’s Experimental Theater in Taipei consists of AriAri, created by leading Indonesian choreographer Eko Supriyanto, and Ita, choreographed by Watan Tusi, a Truku.
The dances deconstruct body languages and textures, and probe contemporary diaspora and bonding, the organizers said.
Eko, founder and artistic director of EkosDance Co and Solo Dance Studio in Surakarta, Indonesia, has trained in Javanese court dance and pencak silat, an Indonesian martial art, since he was seven.
He has been involved in everything from major commercial productions to dance research projects.
In AriAri, which means “placenta” in Javanese, Eko showcases a duo of indigenous dancers, Piya Talaliman and Temu Masin from Watan’s dance company, Tai Body Theatre, “drawing attention to an invisible bond between humans and their affections.”
“Philosophically and metaphorically for Javanese philosophy and culture, it is very important to have the understanding that the placenta is not just a placenta. It is something that connects you and your family, especially your mother,” Eko said.
“And for the baby itself, metaphorically, it’s actually a twin of yourself that is unknown and you cannot see it,” he said. “It is invisible, but it’s a spirit that belongs and is always protecting you.”
He wants his dancers to imagine that they have a twin standing behind them telling them what to create, Eko said.
Ita, which Watan said was inspired by visits to fishing ports and nightclubs frequented by migrant workers, features two of his own dancers and three Indonesian dancers from Eko’s company.
Inspired by Indonesian dangdut folk and dance music, Watan said that although the genre is fast-paced, its subject matter is not always about happy topics.
It reminds him of old songs that indigenous elders sang when they had to leave their villages to make a living in cities, he said.
In his piece, he aims to explore the detachment of swaying bodies of working people in different music atmospheres to create bonds, Watan said.
Watan originally planned for the piece to be performed by five Indonesian dancers, but this was reduced to three because of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The dancers performing Ita this weekend are Dwi Pamungkas Sugiarto, Herlambang Dinar Warih Santosa and Menthari Ashia from Indonesia, and Maya’ a Taboeh Hayawan and Pan Panay from Taiwan.
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