Japanese contemporary dance group, MuDA, held a workshop and rehearsals at Sanggar O, 14–18 September 2018, as part of the Djakarta Theater Platform before their performance at Taman Ismail Marzuki (Jakarta arts centre) on 20 September at 8 pm in Graha Bhakti Budaya.
Members of the Jakarta Arts Council administration and media representatives attended the opening of the workshop to welcome MuDa and workshop participants. MuDA’s director, Takahiko Fukui (aka Quick), dancer Shun Fukishima and manager and dancer Haruka Akiyama (assisted by baby Tenkai Fukui) shared the MuDa technique of ‘falling down, standing up’. Rehearsals started the next day.
About the technique
The workshop rests on the ‘collision movement’ method. This movement transforms negative energy into that which is positive and strong. Collision movement is divided into two parts:
1) Colliding with ground; and
2) Colliding with hard contact.
In the workshop, the first exploration was collision movement for each participant and, then, building solo movements. Finally, collisions with one another were explored. This might sound simple but MuDA argue it can show audiences something of the power of human life.
About the performance
After four days of hard work, the group headed to Jakarta to ready themselves for the performance at Graha Bhakti Budaya theatre at Taman Ismail Marzuki on 20 September.
Despite the intensity of the rehearsals, the beginning of the show was low key, featuring Quick being interviewed by poet and head of the theatre committee of the Jakarta Arts Council, Afrizal Malna. Sanggar O was honoured to be mentioned by Quick as “a beautiful place with delicious food” (praise for Mbak Amie who cooked that delicious food).
And then the performance proper began with a modest drum solo by Sali on kit that introduced Shun who quietly attracted more and more dancers, throwing themselves at him and each other, forming a revolving scrum of grabbing, twisting hands, contorted legs and faces, a painful, somewhat frightening, occasionally funny, spectacle of spontaneously choreographed, active yet repressed violence, an apparent struggle for supremacy without an objective other than supremacy, but more than that, a kind of organic orchestration, a cooperative, competitive violence with no end other than itself. It did indeed speak about the power, both negative and positive, of human life.
The mass of struggling humanity finally separated into individuals, exhausted but not quite, to push to the ground Shun, one by one, women and men, he who always stood again only to be rudely thrust down again and again.
This Sisyphean scene dissolved into ranks of individuals throwing themselves onto the floor, groaning, moaning, writhing and twisting, as the lights faded, the falling and standing continuing in the dark. Until it stopped once and for all.
Simple but highly effective, Jolt was indeed a jolt, a raw insight, a tightly focused observation.
There were tears backstage, including Quick’s. This was unlike his other shows. Perhaps it was something about the sweet but deep demonstration of commitment and passion by the performers, developed over only four days, offering Quick, and at least some of those who saw it, that deep, raw insight. A gift. High art. Thank you, MuDA.
About the artistic director
Takahiko Fukui, aka Quick, was born in Kyoto, Japan in 1982. He is a dancer and artistic stylist. He started his career in 1997 with breakdance, founding Ichigeki breakdance group in 1998, winning several awards, including Best Show in the Battle of the Year Final in Germany in 2005. In 2007, he founded an e-dance community with Shigemi Iida, Kazuo Ohno’s former assistant. His role in the community is performer and head choreographer. With e-dance, he has appeared at events in Japan, Italy and Spain. In 2010, he established the hyper-performance group, MuDA.
Riki, one of the dancers, relaxing after rehearsals.
About the Djakarta Theater Platform
Dewan Kesenian Jakarta (DKJ/Jakarta Arts Council) and the Ministry of Communication and Information (Kemkominfo) in collaboration with the British Council, Japan Foundation, Jakarta Art Institute and Sanggar O are hosting the Djakarta Theater Platform 2018 with the theme Silent Mass. This program will take place throughout September-October 2018 through a series of free, public events. Click here for reservations.
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