News: The 3rd Festival Salihara is Ready to Feed Jakarta Art Lovers (Sept 23-Oct 20)

Taken from Salihara blog & compiled by Shirley

Jakarta, 21 September 2010
Artspace Salihara Theater’s much awaited festival is set to kick off this Thursday with a panoply of cutting-edge performances by local and international artists. For this year’s month-long festival, which will be held every other year from now on, the art space has invited once-jailed Malaysian political opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to speak on the subject of “Freedom and its enemies”. The festival will also feature Tan Malaka, an opera based on the thoughts and life of the revolutionary fighter, written by essayist Goenawan Mohamad and composed by Tony Prabowo.
In his curatorial introduction, festival director Nirwan Dewanto highlighted that given his experience, Anwar was well placed to share his reflections on a topic close to Salihara’s own vision, “With the public, nurturing freedom”.
During the third Salihara Festival, which will run from Sept. 23 to Oct. 20, visitors will be presented with a plethora of art installations, musical performances, theater plays and workshops. The festival will kick off with an ensemble of performances, where visitors will be able to catch a glimpse of what the festival has on offer for the next four weeks.
Indie band Bonita and the hus Band (BNTHB) — who perform a cross between acoustic, soul, folk and R&B — will open the festival, while choreographer Wiwiek Sipala will reinterpret the 700-year-old traditional dance from Makassar, Akkarena, in Akkarena Sombali.
The Akkarena is a contemplative dance delving into the mythical story of the gods’ separation from humans. Video artists Taba Sanchabaktiar and Ridwan Rudianto, Anton Ismael from Third Eye Studio, Joe Christian and Heru Atmaja from Roscoe Company, as well as S. Wibowo with Dolly Ismawan from the AV Reactor, will present video mapping art installations on the opening night. The artists will project their artwork on surfaces at Salihara theater using a digital projector. Art installations by Joko Avianto and Hedi Hariyanto will be on display throughout the festival. Joko, using bamboo, will display an installation titled Gajah (Elephant). Meanwhile, Hedi created a human size tunnel from soft drink cans titled Menapaki Jejak (Tracing the Steps). Visitors will be able to walk through the tunnel and experience the strength of the construction supporting their weight. Theater lovers will be spoiled with performances by local theater groups Kubur and Garasi. Jakarta-based Kubur will present On-Off, an allegory on the destruction and hope of a nation.
Meanwhile, Yogyakarta-based Garasi will perform a theatrical essay on the traditional Indramayu art performance Tarling. Theater director and actor Rajat Kapoor from Mumbai, India, will bring his own touch to the festival, with an award-winning humorous play titled Hamlet the Clown Prince. Based on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Kapoor borrows elements from Shakespeare’s play to create a new performance, incorporating today’s context and references to pop culture, while keeping the essence of the original script.
A couple of New York-based musicians will showcase their craft in sound. Margaret Leng Tan, a Singapore-born maestro pianist from New York famous for playing the toy piano or kinderklavier, will perform on Oct. 5. Music enthusiasts will revel in an unusual blend of modern and ancient with Jin Hi Kim on the electric komungo, a traditional Korean stringed musical instrument, and Gerry Hemingway on percussions. Benton-C Bainbridge and Joel Chadman will bring digital video imaging to this novel performance called Digital Buddha.
Renowned artists like Leng Tan and members of the Australian dance group Chunky Move will rub shoulders with rising stars in the arts, who also deserve praise for bringing their unique art to the festival, like the guitar duet Twin Demon and dance group Tresno Budoyo.
According to Nirwan, the Salihara Festival this year will be more than just a panoply of performances. “Festival Salihara, in its third edition, can be seen as the best choices of our curators.” (written by Prodita Sabarini - The Jakarta Post)

Book related sessions:
Book discussion: ‘MANJALI DAN CAKRABIRAWA’ by Ayu Utami
Speakers: Robertus Robet & Ikhaputri
Sept 24, 4 PM, at Serambi Salihara.

Book discussion: ‘SUKARNO DAN ISLAM’ by Muhammad Ridwan Lubis
Speakers: Luthfi Assyaukanie & Giat Wahyudi
Oct 1st, 4 PM, at Serambi Salihara.

Cinematograph (Mumbai, India)
Director: Rajat Kapoor
Sept 27-28, at Teater Salihara. IDR 100,000 (limited space).

Book discussion: ‘MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN’ by Salman Rushdie
Speakers: Ayu Utami & Intan Savitri
Oct 8, 4 PM, at Serambi Salihara.

An introduction to Salihara Festival:
For you and for us, a festival must be more than just an anthology. Festival Salihara, now the third, can be seen as the crème de la crème of our curators’ choices. We call it thus for two reasons. First, the curators have put together the best ones possible from the respective fields and contexts, more so than when they’re just compiling our monthly programs. Secondly, in the blending between one and the other, the cornucopia of presentations and performances displays a certain je ne sais quoi underlining our vision to preserve diversity and experimentation. Nevertheless, this being the summit isn’t just a measure of ourselves. We always strive to grow together with you, our audience. Komunitas Salihara has grown into what it is today because of your kind willingness to support us, to sustain and enliven our variety of programs. Festival Salihara is also a way for us to thank all of you. For a whole month, between September 23 and October 20, we will be presenting no less than twelve troupes from Indonesia and abroad. You’re not only spoilt for choice, but also invited to discern; and, of course, to enjoy them at leisure. This opportunity does not arrive twice. So best not to miss it. In the following pages, you will read the why-and-wherefores of the performers in our Festival. Chunky Move dance company and the pianist Margaret Leng Tan, for instance, are names with sterling reputations in the world arts scene. There are also performers such as duo-guitarists Twin Demon and Tresno Budoyo dance troupe, who are relatively “new” to us, but whose unique works are more than deserving to receive a wider reception. Meanwhile, there are Teater Garasi and choreographer Fitri Setyaningsih, who are very well-known for their cutting edged works. We will also see choreographer Wiwiek Sipala and komungo player-cum-composer Jin Hi Kim who are always stepping into the future with their respective traditions. We invite Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim to give a lecture on “freedom and its enemies”; we believe that he, due to his experiences, can provide a critical reflection upon this theme, something that is deeply entwined in our vision. To make an event with a difference, we produce Tan Malaka, an operatic work by poet Goenawan Mohamad and composer Tony Prabowo—a montage based on the life and thoughts of the controversial intellectual-freedom fighter. In the meantime, site-specific installation works by Hedi Hariyanto and Joko Dwi Avianto will alter the face of Salihara complex throughout the Festival. And thus, we would reach the summit with a veritable combination of all performance pieces. A number of communities will also add to the nuances of this Festival by organizing weekly workshops and lectures. Clearly, such a network of communities will not only enrich the Festival, but, more importantly, expand the sphere of the discerned public in our city. Finally, our Festival is made possible by the support from various parties—our sponsors, donors, media-partners, Friends of Salihara, and last but not least, the performers. To all of them, we are deeply grateful.

Festival Salihara, which heretofore will be hosted as a biennale, is a means which enable us to make our urban life more colorful, tolerant and open. Let us celebrate imagination and creativity—the source by which we could move forward faster. And you, dear audience, are our companions in sustaining the arts suitable to our age and our environment. Welcome to the third Festival Salihara, and we hope you will enjoy the experience. Check out the festival calendar here.

Visitor views during the opening, on Sept 23:
Dina: "Since non-invited weren't able to see the dance performances, all we could do is enjoying the food festival. I like the environment of this place. However, it was too crowded yesterday."
Hendro: "I came to this event because of my friends. This was my first time, and I think it's great. My suggestion would be to add access and parking spot for visitors. Oh, one thing that I noticed is the cool gimmick they put in the men's room."


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