“Hitam kulit, keriting rambut. Aku Papua.” “Black skin, curly hair. I am Papua.”
Trained as a dancer as a child, Sardono first gained recognition when he represented his home country of Indonesia at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. He soon gained critical acclaim at home and abroad at major international festivals across Asia, Europe and the Americas. A true pioneer, he was the youngest member of the Jakarta Arts Council in 1968, founded Indonesia’s first-ever experimental dance company and became Rector of Jakarta Arts Institute in 2005.
As part of The Sardono Retrospective, this iconic, award-winning artist has created Black Sun, a stirring contemporary dance performance. The trigger for Black Sun is man’s unceasing destruction of nature. Year after year, the forest fires in Indonesia create a shroud of severe smoke over much of Southeast Asia. The toxic haze is a humanitarian disaster: Indigenous Indonesians living in the rainforest are among the first to experience the suffering, a tragic fact that is all too clear to Sardono, who is himself a devoted environmental activist.
In Black Sun, Sardono develops a unique vocal and physical vocabulary that is very much inspired by his research with the Papuan people, as well as the environment in which they live. Together with an ensemble of dancers from Papua and other regions of Indonesia, Black Sun is Sardono’s epic tribute to life, earth and survival, both primal and sophisticated.
Commissioned by Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA).