RESEARCHING THE RICHNESS OF DIVERSITY
Darmasiswa scholarship brought me to Java in 2010. Daily concerns of my physical training for dance and theatre such as precarious balance, movement fragmentation or energy contention would be finally tested to serve the Indonesian traditional performing arts at the Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI) Yogyakarta, for the next few years. Besides opening the path to the Balinese culture wanderings, it also put me in touch with Javanese gamelan music and dance, sindhen vocal techniques and with infinity of art forms from other remote regions. Karonese and Batak music, Sundanese mask tradition or fire trance dances in Central Sulawesi, gave just an idea of the astonishing diversity and abundance of cultures to experience around the archipelago.
EXPERIENCING TARI TOPENG LOSARI
With Nur Anani Topeng Losari at Sanggar Purwa Kencana, Cirebon (Java) in 2013.
One of many traditions in Indonesia, where religion (Islam officially, although reminiscent of Hinduism from Majapahit times in this case) is undermined by mysticism. Sacred masks, without holes for the eyes, are worshipped before going on stage, to transmit, they say, their energy to the dancer, who does not need to see anything either, because what it´s about is "simply" linking three dimensions: god, body and earth. Whether there are spectators or not, is of minimal relevance. The makeup, completely out of place.
TEACHING BALINESE DANCE FOR ACTORS AND SCENE DIRECTORS
In Bali, the dance, like any other form of performing art, is part of the daily Hindu ceremony, becoming a way of worshipping or even the offering itself. Extracted from its context, the Balinese dance is an extraordinary psycho-physical training: Starting from a totally unnatural body position, which forces a continuous opposition of forces to ensure balance, it works the isolation and fragmentation of both micro and macro movements, constantly requiring control and containment of physical energy to achieve precision and subtlety in every small detail.
Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático (RESAD), Madrid.
Considered a fundamental reference by the Theatre Anthropology of E. Barba and many other authors since the end of XIX century, Balinese dance has been used by western actors and dancers as a source of countless ideas for building choreographies and the corporeality of characters. Those movements, attitudes and energies far removed from everyday life, besides awakening body awareness and expressiveness, also contribute a strong stage presence and a well defined embodiment.
Escuela Superior de Arte Dramático (ESAD), Valencia.
VANISHING BORDERS: ODE KAGEM IBUKU
LEARNING LEGONG KERATON
Endowed with movements of a strange beauty, unreal in its mechanics, the highly codified language of movements in Balinese dance is unique in its aesthetics. Secular in nature, Legong Keraton is the most popular of the dramatic pieces and is inspired by the chronicles of the 19th century Balinese court and the Ramayana. In the first part, Condong, a maid would perform an intricate choreography in which she uses two fans that will be given to their masters in the second part, the one properly called Legong.