We are currently devising a very exciting performance with a group of 19 3rd year Theatre, Video Production and Arts Management students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA).
For the new project we went to Ho Chi Minh City for a few days to do some research and let the students document Vietnamese Water Puppets. Now we are back in NAFA devising the performance based on our experiences.
First we got them all to work together in devised acting work and then we split them up today into their three groups. The video production students videoed the actors as their observers, documenters and alter-egos. The arts management students facilitated this relationship by creating a soundscape, providing props, and creating a physical terrain for the performance.
The NAFA project has been a most exhilarating one not least because we had three lots of students from such diverse disciplines to pull together to create something – anything!
SEA Arts recently completed an innovative film of Artaud’s encounter with Balinese theatre in Paris in 1931, choreographed by Ni Madé Pujawati and Ash Mukherjee with music by Nye Parry, filmed by Jeremy Millar, which will be shown shortly in exhibition. Following on from this, SEA Arts is planning a major production about the role of Western intellectuals in the imagination of contemporary Bali with leading Balinese actors and composer – Bali After the End of the World – as a film and theatre tour.
SEA Arts is working in partnership with FIPA on the first Gong Festival in the UK this summer. After a week-long course of workshops in gamelan, stilts and costume making, the artists will lead local participants in an inspirational public performance in Gateshead. The Gong Festival is grateful for the support of the Indonesian Embassy.
SEA Arts is also collaborating in FIPA’s a new production of the Aranya and Kishkindha Kandas from the Ramayana. The performance is a daring and radical development for the company. Emerging out of a Cosmic Chorus, episodes from the Ramayana will be dramatically evoked. Dancing in their usual stunning style on stilts, the performers will also conjure up an arresting landscape of haunting music and vocals.
In October 2012 SEA Arts has been invited to perform Jamong, a Balinese Arja Prèmbon masked theatre at the International Travelling Theatres’ Festival in Estonia, which will include some of Bali’s most celebrated actors including I Wayan Dibia and I Nyoman Catra.
The British Gamelan Trail oral history online resource funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund is now available on this website on our YouTube channel.