Tell us now about the Groove Space series, especially the one you plan in Jakarta.
The performance series Groove Space creates a new performance format with different cooperation partners in the various cities. Each new realization of the concept is based on researching the individual grooves of the respective city, collaborating with local musicians/composers, visual artists, light or costume designers to develop a version of the piece which is specific for that city. I met really interesting people in Jakarta. But I don’t know yet, what the Jakarta version will be like. What I know now is that after spending some days in Jakarta, I’m interested in the encapsulation of people and their privateness in the huge and populated space and how it repeats, transforms and patterns itself. I guess that will be the starting point of our choreography.
You mentioned a lot about audience having responsibilities, audience having a choice and dance performance as a collective practice. These statements to me as a person living in Indonesia or to be exact in Jakarta are very relevant. We are now trying to do these kind of actions in our daily lives, collectively as members of society after a dictatorship era.
You are right, I understand that. My discussions with the artists in the last few days are the most political talks I have had. People really talk about their government and about their hopes as a part of a society but to me it is now more interesting to find out what kind of collectivity we have nowadays? Are there other formats of being collective? The idea of a nation in this globalized world we are facing today doesn’t make sense to me anymore. In my very little microcosm of a dance performance project I would like to find out different answers.
Last question, in a very open performance like yours, are you really prepared for everything? If someone tried to disturb your practice would you stop the performance?
A dance in our case is beyond language and beyond text. As a performer you can never be completely prepared. So far we have never had the moment when we had to interfere. Our audience can contribute to the dance. Everybody has choices to experience it. Yet performers have choices too. They can choose to interact with you or to block you out. Dancers are neither puppets nor instruments of your desire. I will not be upset if someone doesn’t like my performance and tries to boycott the show, however it will color the groove of that particular show for everybody. This is the risk I take and the risk has to be accepted. If I didn’t take the choices of the audience seriously, their choice wouldn’t make a difference.
This article was first published in November 2014 in the online magazine "Tanzconnexions"