This is a work-in-progress exploration of the boob.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
In the beginning of May, I worked on a collaborative project facilitated by the French Cultural Center in Yogyakarta (Lembaga Indonesia Perancis, LIP) for their spring festival. The project, 'Mari(e)-Mari(e)', involved a five-day intensive collaboration between two French artists; Marie Laborelle, a fashion designer, Marie Barbottin, a contemporary dancer, two Indonesian artists; Nita Azhar, a fashion designer, and Fitri Setyaningsih, a contemporary dancer and choreographer, and me. The aim of the project was to approach fashion from a dance standpoint, and vice-versa. Working with two fashion designers coming from very different processes, it was the goal of the dancers to explore the materials that we were being provided with to create movement, character and interaction. Later, we brought in a group of musicians, who improvised to our movements. We created a loose structure for the performance, within which most of the movement between us and our costumes was improvised. The creation of the entire piece was influenced by the idea of the 'banyan tree'. 'Mari(e)-Mari(e)' was performed to a packed audience for one night only under the stars at Sri Sasanti Restaurant and Gallery in Yogyakarta.
Friday, April 17, 2009
My fiance', Lilik, and I recently had a pre-wedding photo shoot for our marriage this coming May. We wanted to do something out of the ordinary, and with the help of our photographer, Ricky from Nomadan Studio, along with several friends, we set out for a full-day adventure on the train from Yogyakarta to Solo. While this event was aimed to be a photo shoot, in the end it also turned out to be a performance, for us, our friends, and all passengers involved. The onlookers not only got a kick out of seeing us in the traditional costumes of Ajuna and Srikandi, the Javanese warriors, but also participated in the act of the shoot, becoming both the audience and the subjects.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I recently was invited to perform for the opening of a new gallery, Gallery Syang, in Magelang, Indonesia. I invited violinist Eko Balung, along with Sundanese gamelan musicians Asep Saepudin and Nandang, to join me in creating an experimental opera that combined elements of traditional Sundanese music and opera into a contemporary context. We innovated two traditional Indonesian songs, Potret Manehna (Sundanese, meaning 'The Portrait of You'), and Warung Pojok (Javanese, meaning 'The Food Stand on the Corner') over an intensive one-week rehearsal period. I also made my costume, which I had envisioned as a giant opera skirt with a traditional Javanese kebaya (woman's blouse). For the skirt I used a large bamboo bird cage, which I covered with fabric and an extra large skirt.
What excited me the most about this project was the passion I received from the musicians, whose cross of music styles was refreshing for everyone, and turned out to make a fabulous sound. I loved using opera as a way to express the quirkiness of character and performance, while still focusing on the sensuality and freedom of musical instrumentation. Music, I find, is an excellent way to draw an audience in and invite them to 'feel' the rhythms. The music proves later to be more than just an instrumental performance, but also one with surprise and expression, in the special moments where the theatrical emerges. I have been realizing more and more recently, after being in Indonesia for nearly four years, that what excites me the most about the traditional styles of music and dance I have been studying here, is how they can be blended into contemporary performance practices. This project is one example of the possibility of innovation and collaboration between different art styles and traditions, and in the end it was a great success!! The audience loved it, as did the performers!!