from betamax to dvd

san phalla: jeckosdance, from betamax to dvd

From Betamax to DVD

From Betamax to DVD

From Betamax to DVD

TO THE SOUND OF TRADITIONAL MUSIC AND IN GLOOMY LIGHT, THE FIVE YOUNG DANCERS—THREE WOMEN AND TWO MEN—OF THE JECKOSDANCE TROUPE LINE UP LOOKING TOWARDS THEIR LEADER, THE CHOREOGRAPHER JECKO KURNIAWAN SIOMPO PUI. THE SINGING CUTS OUT, REPLACED BY THE SOUND OF A STREAM. A GIRL AT THE BACK OF THE LINE MOVES FORWARD A FEW STEPS AND SWINGS HER RIGHT HAND. HER ENERGY SEEMS TO SWAY THE GIRL AT THE FRONT OF THE LINE CAUSING JECKO TO SWING BACK AND FORTH LIKE A ROBOT. HE SHOWS OFF HIS DANCE TECHNIQUE TO HIS TEAM, BUT THEY DON’T SEEM TO APPRECIATE IT. ONE CRIES OUT AND THEY MAKE THEIR OWN DANCE INSTEAD.

From Betamax to DVD is a multi-dance work that includes a synthesis of breakdance, acrobatic, robotic, traditional Papuan dance and animal movements—mimicking apes (bodies held low) and kangaroos (both hands held to chests), pushing and pulling each other to produce comic moments. Repeated, robotic action, also found in breakdancing, is common while other moves look athletic, as if the performers are preparing to run—a body bent forward, one leg stepped back, the other forward, bent at the knee,

The performers danced in line, broke from it and criss-crossed. But Jecko seemed to be trying to stay free of his colleagues. They tugged at his t-shirt, wanting him to join in, but he repeatedly pushed them away as if to resist modernity and its rapidly changing technology, to stay with Papuan tradition. Nevertheless he sometimes joined them, dancing in line, because there are some things you cannot avoid in a globalised world.

Dance movements switched fast to changes in light and sound, alternating between loud and soft: a mix of flowing water, car horns, helicopters, jet planes, computer sounds, electronic blips, waltz music, club music…This rush symbolized a rapidly changing culture where no one pays attention.

At the end, the dancers lined up again to face the audience, posing the same question: will Jecko accept modernization and leave tradition behind?

12 July 2010