Indonesia, is an awe-inspiring country, from its beaches to ancient volcanos and the sweeping countryside and jungles between. This natural beauty only matched by it’s people, culture, food and the way in which art, ritual and dance is made so much a part of every day life. Melbourne, this year was offered a rare treat, when as part of Melbourne Fringe Festival, on the first balmy night after a long grey winter, Guntar Dance Company, performed on the historic grounds of The Abbotsford Convent.
This collective are from Kediri, a small town in East Jawa, surrounded by small villages and fields of corn and tobacco that sway in the soft breeze. It’s a bustling place, steeped also in tradition, and in this performance Guntar Dance Company told four seperate stories; ‘Songgo Langit Patemboyo’, the story of the King of Kediri family; ‘Kidung Kaduwung’, an expression of the heartbreak of Laduyo’s daughter; ‘Kethek Ogleg’ with movements that mimic the behavior of kethek (the monkey) and ‘Topeng Panji’ telling the story of virtuous Panji.