“There is something deliciously knowing about the way Rianto melds the traditional and the contemporary. Ultimately Rianto opens up a space for us.... to delight in the erotics of hybridity transgression.” -Witness, Australia
In Hijrah, Indonesian choreographer and dancer Rianto dives deep into the history and culture of Sulawesi to uncover the diverse and complex approaches to gender that exist in the traditional cultural and dance forms of this island. Exploring the migration of gender, memory, and the body, Rianto collaborates with Garin Nugroho, one of Indonesia’s most prominent filmmakers today to create Hijrah documentary film portraits.
At the center of these film portraits is the figure of Dayeng Manda, a dance maestro who has notated his entire movement vocabulary in both male and female form into thousands of miniature woven dolls. In dialogue with Rianto, Dayeng Manda shares his connection to traditional vocabularies, their role in carrying our bodies towards the future and the interplay of gender against a backdrop of religious social politics.
Living between Tokyo and Indonesia, born and raised in the small Javanese village of Banyumas - the home of the Lengger cross gender dance - Rianto embodies as no-one else a space for the in-between, the coming together of traditional and contemporary culture, and of male and female. Hijrah is the continuation of his plea to value and give space for the in-between, to resist reducing the complexity of human beings and our society and culture into binary opposites. As always, he starts from his own body and biography to fight universally for more awareness around these pressing topics. In his work the personal becomes political.
In a world that consists of constant flux and movement, how much migration do we still allow in our own bodies? How much space do we allow ourselves to navigate between male and female? Could we embrace another way of looking at gender, as something which is not set, but rather fluid and alive?
Sat Post-screening Q & A
G - General Audience
M - REDCAT Members
ST - Students
CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff