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modern dance Java style, they said

This last concert wasn't especially spiritual, just challenging. Did not look like any modern dance I'd ever seen, which again was their point. And that made it delightful as well as strange.

Last year the group from Hanoi finished their concert with a piece that could have been called ""Uncle Ho Does Britney Spears"... they melded traditional costumes with MTV touches and their dance steps were part Western women's lib and part twelfth century. Guess you had to be there... this is a tableau from the climax, I liked the elevated pose:

No such stuff this year. The Java Moderns started with a quite traditional parade in gold costumes, moving their arms as palm branches wave in the beach wind, with plenty of gold light:

And here are all four of them:

Then a featured soloist came out and played with a jeweled fan. I really liked her traditional footwork, and her crimson cap and skirt:

About the only concession to Western styles came in the curtain call, of all places, where she did a decidedly non-Javanese movement, which the rest of the troupe applauded:

The music was hardly MTV, either... so for me it was a stretch to see how this was "modern" but probably it is to them. Classical Javanese / Balinese dance has a language as rigid as, and as different from, our Western classical ballet as you can imagine. So the Modern dancers in this piece probably deviated a lot from what would be called Traditional in Indonesia.

I just thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle and their stylization.

All of this was a training experience for me, maybe: how to see with wider eyes than I might usually use; a broader imagination, perhaps. All artists need to grow in this way, or in however they define growth... your definintiion might not be theirs, but we can all learn from one another. If we open to that. And how far we can open to it.

As one LJ friend long ago said, I believe we are all connected.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 18th, 2010 11:54 am (UTC)
That, and exciting to watch, also... most of the time they just drew you into their rhythms.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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