(meaning “Collaboration” in the Indonesian language)
The mission of the Kolaborasi Project is to facilitate artistic collaboration and dialogue among American, European and Asian people through creating innovative dance/theatre works that involve a meeting between different cultural and artistic frameworks; and, in the process, to develop inter-cultural understanding both in art and in daily life.
As part of its research, this project explores how the principles and stylistic elements from more than one cultural and technical background meet. In this process, what questions emerge about performance training and making? How does our cultural background effect our perceptions of performance itself?
In Sally’s recent time living and working in Java, Indonesia, the focus has been on exploring and integrating Western and Indonesian approaches to movement improvisation, focusing in particular on Skinner Releasing Technique (a somatic movement approach developed in the USA by Joan Skinner) and Amerta Movement (a somatic movement approach developed in Java by Suprapto Suryodarmo). These approaches together lend themselves to a deep exploration of movement patterns across cultures and art-forms, and of their patterns of thought, feeling and experience that underlie them.
From this experience, Sally wrote the article Departing from Tradition: Insights from Java. This research continues, as will as exploring the links between somatic movement and its cross-cultural applications- with upcoming projects in Cambodia (with Amrita Performing Arts) and Sri Lanka (with Floating Space Theatre). Read it here.
Also, the question of “What is Contemporary Performance?” in dance and theatre- continues to be addressed. Many cultures in Asia are searching to create their own “Contemporary” dance and theatre forms from their traditional roots (as opposed to copying ‘Western’ contemporary dance and theatre styles). What is the current Western “contemporary?” The Kolaborasi Project seeks to support discussion addressing this topic, as well as experimenting with ways of creating performance that integrates each technical and stylistic background of all artists involved- by creating a collectively created form that is new to all of them.
For more information on our upcoming and past projects, please visit the Kolaborasi website here.
Departing from Tradition: Insights from Java
Download full article as PDF here
Published January/February 2009, In Dance, San Francisco, USA