|From Betamax to DVD|
photo Phalla San
From Betamax to DVD is a multi-dance work that includes a synthesis of breakdance, acrobatic, robotic, traditional Papuan dance and animal movements—mimicking apes (bodies held low) and kangaroos (both hands held to chests), pushing and pulling each other to produce comic moments. Repeated, robotic action, also found in breakdancing, is common while other moves look athletic, as if the performers are preparing to run—a body bent forward, one leg stepped back, the other forward, bent at the knee,
The performers danced in line, broke from it and criss-crossed. But Jecko seemed to be trying to stay free of his colleagues. They tugged at his t-shirt, wanting him to join in, but he repeatedly pushed them away as if to resist modernity and its rapidly changing technology, to stay with Papuan tradition. Nevertheless he sometimes joined them, dancing in line, because there are some things you cannot avoid in a globalised world.
Dance movements switched fast to changes in light and sound, alternating between loud and soft: a mix of flowing water, car horns, helicopters, jet planes, computer sounds, electronic blips, waltz music, club music...This rush symbolized a rapidly changing culture where no one pays attention.
At the end, the dancers lined up again to face the audience, posing the same question: will Jecko accept modernization and leave tradition behind?
JeckoSDANCE, From Betamax to DVD, choreographer, music editor Jecko Siompo, performers Siti Ajeng Soelaeman, Andara Firman Moeis, Arisma Ranisa, Phitoz Harris, Jecko Siompo, lighting Ajis Dyink; Graha Bhakti Budaya, June 17
San Phalla lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He holds an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok and a BA in Archeaology from the Royal University of Fine Arts, Phnom Penh. Currently, he works as a researcher for Khmer Arts, a Cambodian classical dance company.
© Phalla San; for permission to reproduce apply to firstname.lastname@example.org