Jen Shyu’s Solo Rites: Seven Breaths directed by Garin Nugroho
Footage from premiere performance on May 28, 2014 at Roulette, Intermedium, Inc.
Jen Shyu: Composition, vocals, dance, Taiwanese moon lute, piano, gayageum, er hu, East Timorese lakadou
Garin Nugroho: Director
Danang Pamungkas: Choreographer
Alyssa K. Howard: Stage Manger
Kristen Robinson: Set & Props Designer
Solomon Weisbard: Lighting Designer
Kristin Isola: Costume Designer
Sonic, visual, and visceral rites and reflections upon pilgrimage throughout Taiwan, East Timor, Indonesia (Java, Bali, Bandung, Kalimantan), Vietnam, and South Korea. Using multiple tools of expression in multiple languages (new improvised languages as well as existing ones including Indonesian, Javanese, Taiwanese, indigenous Taiwanese languages, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Tetum, Korean), this solo performance—that of a woman living simultaneously in multiple cultures and “projecting her ancestry” (Val-Inc) through contemporary monologue—will reveal a personal journey of loss and redemption made universal, giving voice to the silenced. These losses reflect crises now plaguing these lands: the loss of voices found in traditional music and shaman rituals; the loss of habitat and wildlife and thus the linked ancient cosmology; and finally, the loss of public space, such as the submission of traditional markets and forests to malls and coal mines. These issues will be explored in performance through sound, movement, and fieldwork footage, creating a land-sound-scape which will serve to transport and transform both the performer and audience, leading to shared revelation and recovery from past sorrow.
Prolific, uncomprimising, and most renowned Indonesian film and stage director Garin Nugroho (Opera Jawa, Under the Tree, Daun di Atas Bantal) will direct Shyu’s solo ritual, breathing into the work his distinctive vision for celebrating the exhilarating and sacred bond between tradition and modernity.
This performance is made possible by the Jerome Foundation, Ministry of Education and Culture, Republic of Indonesia / The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, NATMA Foundation Medical Humanities & Arts- Chairman Dr. Y. Norman Chiou,Timor Plaza, North America Taiwanese Women’s Association II (NATWA II), Asia Society, Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in New York, National Chamber Music Month, and Indonesia Diaspora Network. Special thanks to Jim Staley, Asian Cultural Council, and Montalvo Arts Center.
Performance filmed by Marcelo Borja. Thank you to Elena Chang, Jonathan Riviera, and the team for filming the interviews and editing the EPK.
More info: jenshyu.com/
Translations (from Asia Society Texas Center performance September 26, 2014): asiasociety.org/files/uploads/463files/SoloRitesSevenBreathsProgramInformation.pdf