photo Phalla San
This is Darkness Poomba the last of four contemporary dance works performed to celebrate the opening of "Powering the Future": the 10th Jakarta International Performing Arts Festival (IDF). The audience cheered, clapped and rocked to the 11 young dancers, musicians and vocalists from South Korea directed by choreographer and composer Kim Jae Duk who also performed as dancer, musician and singer. The combination of elements was dynamic and vigorous—while my hands were busy taking notes, my head and torso unconsciously swayed.
Beneath bright lights, the dancers committed body and limb to fast moves, shaking and leaping in a combination of modern dance, breakdance and acrobatics alternating with slower movement. From the moment the dancers were joined by the guitar players and drummer the work became larger and more dramatic. While the stage was filled with dynamic dancing, the choreographer joined the singer in one aisle of the theatre, singing and playing a mouth organ, while the two men who opened the show repeated their slaps and grabs at speed in the other aisle. The audience clapped and swayed, screaming their satisfaction.
The perfectly synchronized dance movement in Darkness Poomba and the beautiful and powerful live music made for an attractively dramatic and dynamic work. Although titled Darkness Poomba, the strong lighting not only distinguished between scenes but also suggested a brighter spirit.
Darkness Poomba, choreographer, composer, dancer, musician Kim Jae Duk, with dancers and musicians; Graha Bhakti Sudaya, Taman Ismail Marzuki, June 14, Jakarta
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 email@example.com