Apr 2002 – Netherlands Indonesia
Apr 2002 – Netherlands Indonesia
Door Mieke de Bont
Rotterdam – “Lichtende Schemering” van choreograaf Gerard Mosterd balanceert op de grens tussen oosterse en westerse dansculturen. Dansers Ester Natzijl en Ming Poon verbeelden de verschillen. Hij danst beheerst en ingetogen, met een scherpe controle over iedere spier. Zichtbaar tot in zijn vingertoppen. Zij danst expressief en meer explosief. Met een uitfreakend lijf, soms tollend over de vloer. Aanvankelijk danst hij solo. Achter bezwerende armen en golvende vingers beweegt het bovenlijf heen en weer. Een sterk oosters beeld. Poon neemt de tijd om zijn bewegingen uit te voeren en daar ga je moeiteloos in mee omdat de spanning voelbaar is.
De tegenstellingen worden mooi tegenover elkaar gezet in aparte of parallelle dansfrases. Hij wordt wat losser in beweging, zij wat rustiger. Sommige handelingen, als het vastpakken van een been, lijken inwisselbaar. De onvoorspelbaarheid houd je scherp. Wie verwacht dat de dansers in een leeg, prominent lichtvlak samenkomen, komt bedrogen uit. Het duurt veertig minuten voor er een ontmoeting is. Aanvankelijk via een schimmenspel: een wit papieren wand scheidt de twee. Hij beweegt synchroon met haar schaduw. De dansers manipuleren de ruimte door het scherm te verplaatsen. De tegenstellingen in beweging zijn weer scherp. Met de herhaaldelijke plaatsbepaling lijkt Mosterd zich af te vragen waar deze dansvormen een plek hebben in zijn wereld en in de danswereld. Zelden werd een vraag zo helder in beeld en beweging vertaald. In het duet dat volgt is binnen een gevoel van veiligheid de confrontatie mogelijk. Soms venijnig, soms grillig, maar steeds saamhorig: de toon wordt feilloos gezet. Toch kiest ieder uiteindelijk voor zichzelf. Er is voor beide werelden plaats, lijkt Mosterd te zeggen. Naast de zeggingskracht is er ruimte voor associatie, voor een eigen invulling. Voor mij is het samenzijn niet mislukt, maar ga je uiteindelijk toch je eigen weg. Tegen het einde duurt een enkele scène te lang. De aanwezigheid van de gamelanspeler leidt af. Vooral gezien zijn kleine rol. Toch valt op dit stuk weinig af te dingen. Mosterd weet twee dansstijlen mooi ineen te vlechten, vooral met deze twee prachtige dansers.
‘Lichtende Schemering’ van Gerard Mosterd. Gezien: gisteravond in Lantaren/Venster.
Eastern Restfulness Versus Western Hecticness
Rotterdam – “Luminescent Twilight” by choreographer Gerard Mosterd balances on the edge between Eastern and Western dance cultures. Dancers Ester Natzijl and Ming Poon visualize the contrasts. He dances controlled and soberly, with a sharp command of every muscle. Visible until his finger tips. She dances expressive and more explosively. With a hysteric body, sometimes spinning over the floor. Initially he dances solo. Behind hypnotizing arms and fluent fingers the body moves in zigzag course. A strong oriental image. Poon takes time to execute his movements and one easily follows this because one feels the tension.
The contrasts are being put across beautifully in separate or parallel dance phrases. He becomes freeer in his movements, she more calm. Some actions, such as grabbing a leg, seem exchangeable. The unpredictability “keeps you on your toes’. Anyone expecting the dancers to meet in an empty, prominent lit field will be tricked. It takes fourty minutes before an encounter takes place. At first by means of a shadow play: a white paper screen separates the two. He moves synchronously with her shadow. The dancers manipulate space by moving the screen. The contrasts in movement are extreme again. With the repetitive positioning must Mosterd seems to ask himself were these dance patterns find a place in his world or the dance world. Seldom a query has been so clearly formulated in image and movement. In the duet which follows a confrontation is still possible within the feeling of safety. Sometimes venomous, sometimes capricious, but always unified: the mood is set immaculately. Eventually both of them choose to go their own way. Mosterd seems to say that there is room for both worlds. Aside from the expressive power there is still space for associations and thus for an individual interpretation. For me this means that the act of togetherness was not a failure, but in the end one goes one separate way. Near the end one or two scenes were too long. The presence of the gamelan player was a distraction. In particular considering his minor role. And yet there’s little to criticize about this production. Mosterd is able to melt two dance styles beautifully, in particular with these two splendid dancers.
“Luminescent Twilight” by Gerard Mosterd. Seen: yesterday evening in Lantaren/Venster.
A performance from the Netherlands, Tuesday night (15/10), was not only give a bright atmosphere, but also a tutorial for this theater performing arts in East Java. Most of the audience mesmerized watching the theatre dance performance, Luminescent Twilight by Gerard Mosterd, male Dutch-Indonesian hybrid, which was presented by a handsome male dancer and a beautiful female dancer.
Heri “Lentho” Prasetyo, Surabaya dance artist; said, Mosterd’s theater dance performance showed the totality of an artwork performance because there was a neat harmony between the choreographer, the light designer and the music composer.
“As a choreographer, I often caught in the body movements and ignore the artistic lighting system or the music composition myself,” said Heri. Dance performance at least become a mirror that performance art if it is being done with totality, will result a fantastic work.
The interesting lesson was also to pay attention and maintain the atmosphere so it is not interrupted by other voices. Through the festival organizers, the theater warned each audience not turn on a cell phone during the performance.
“For those who bring mobile phones, please switch it off,” said an official committee who was guarding at the entrance to the theater again and again to the audience.
They did not only just import all the raw materials, but also took a accompaniment sound which is very familiar in the ears of Javanese. The lover of art performance that night were not only get a fantastic body movements fantasy, but also being stomped by keroncong moritsco which was play to accompany the dancers.
Up till now it is rare for Indonesian choreographers to use keroncong music as dance accompaniment. According to Mosterd, music keroncong was used because he wanted to create a romantic nuance. Although he was born and grew up in the windmill land, Indonesian blood (the mother) has inspired him to work on the creation which implies the struggle of East and West cultures.
“To be honest, although I have the Netherlands figure, but in my soul there is oriental character,” he said.
When the hour hands moved and pointed to 20:05, came the strains of gamelan played by Niels Walen and once in a while there was a rebab tune that inspired feelings. Then the gamelan rhythm once in a while combined with Paul Goodman’s music until they gave an impression of the meeting between the two poles of cultures, West and East.
The impact of these different cultural poles were not just mixed into the music composition as dance theater accompaniment, but also neatly interwoven and measured together with the rhythm of the contemporary dance movements which was perform by the good-looking Teck Voon Ng from Vietnam, and Esther Natzijl, a beautiful woman from the Netherlands.
Teck Voon which was bare-chested began his appearance on the stage with the lighting of three parallel lights until it made him as if he was out of the darkness, then reached the light. As he bent half body, Teck Voon moved his hands full of tenderness. Dancer’s hand movements reached the point of achievement when it touched his ear, then his palm wiped his face until it was look up to bright light.
Coincided with the accompaniment of gamelan music, Voon’s dance was beautiful when he was moving from the cracks of lighting, from the dark, then light, dark and light and then disappeared from the stage.
Then Esther Natzijl appeared from the darkness. The dancer’s body movements is almost perfect when she was moving from one side to the other side of the stage. Creep movements varied with the game of funny faces.
Both dancers were then united in a dish which was very interesting when they played gentle movements from behind the scenes. The shadows of male-female dancers’ graceful body movements were make an impression of a measured artistic achievement between gestures, lighting, and accompaniment music illustrations. (TIF)
EAST and West in a dark and light room. It is shown by the Dutch choreographer Gerard Mosterd in theatre dance performance of Luminiscent Twilight at Cak Durasim Festival (FCD) III, last night. For more than an hour, Gerard explored the contrast between dark and light to tell his concept about the Western and the Eastern cultures.
Besides lighting setting which was worked very seriously, Gerard used two dancers as a depiction of the West and East world. So was the music, gamelan with electronic music accents. Began with rebab frictions with two circles of light on the floor to break the stage silence . Then, Teck Von Ng, the Vietnamnese dancer who was bare-chested black pant, appeared. Stood up, let some part of his shoulder in bright light. Suddenly, the Dutch dancer Esther Natzijl passed quickly behind him. Then, they performed separately movements. Teck gentle movements, in contrast to the dynamic Esther. The motions of these two dancers accompanied by gamelan music – bonang, gender, gambang – who was beaten by Niels Walen, equipped with the composition of electronic music by Paul Goodman. (ani)
Theatre dance performance from the Netherlands entitled ‘Luminescent Twilight’ which was presented on Tuesday night (16/10) at Gedung Cak Durasim Taman Budaya Surabaya ended in a romantic way. This production, which was a part of the Cak Durasim Festival III, by the choreographer Gerard Mosterd who is of Dutch-Indonesian origin was able to make the public in Surabaya smile in admiration. It is no exaggeration to say that applause at the end of the show lasted long and sustained. The reason for this was the enchanting body movements of the dancers, Wei Ming Poon (Tek Ng Vong) from Vietnam and Ester Natzijl. Moreover, the interplay of lighting and lighting design combining dark and light strongly supported the movements performed by these two dancers.
As Rakimdakas said in the press conference on Monday (14/10), this theatre team from Netherlands was not needlessly demanding. They simply requested proper lighting, which is somewhat complicated considering the local circumstances. However, Rokim’s et al hard work in the end led to success. The performance which from beginning to end was supported by Niels Walen’s gamelan music illustrations, indeed highlighted on a stage powerful in its atmosphere of contrast, dark and light. Sharp transitions of light marked the change between scenes with absolutely perfect timing. This is what Mosterd wanted to present. As he said before the show, he wanted to integrate Western and Eastern cultures, the two different cultures of his parents (a Dutch father, an Indonesian mother).
Accompanied by a Rebab, Teck Ng Von, who was bare-chested and was wearing a black pants, moved in a standing position in which only parts of his shoulders were visible in the light. Suddenly Ester Natzijl passed quickly behind him. The sounds of gender, bonang and gambang played by Walen were combined with electronic music by Paul Goodman. The stage put us into an atmosphere of mystery. The combination of Western culture, represented by Ester and Eastern culture by Von was really interesting. Von’s movements were gentle, typical of the East in contrast to Ester’s which were very fast. Alternately, both were moving in contrast. One active, the other motionless.
At the end of the show, a Japanese paper screen on the stage was moved here and there by the two dancers. They also faced each other from its two sides like a mirror. Von tore the paper right in the middle, as if it was a door. From the rear, the lamps fired through the “door” making a path of light on the floor. Then a surprise occurred. Keroncong music was heard. Out of the door, the two dancers crawled, rolled and danced together. The dense atmosphere was dispersing. Suddenly there was a metaphorical bond between the dark, the light and shadows, dusk in the inner logic of the everyday life of traditional Javanese society.
For you who have not yet had time to see Gerard Mosterd’s production, you can see their performance, tonight, Wednesday (16/10) at Gedung Cak Durasim at 20:00. This extra bonus performance is due to the impact of the bombings in Bali. Previously, dance was scheduled to be performed in Bali today.
YOGYA (KR) – Senthong Seni Bangun Jiwa, Teater Garasi Yogyakarta and Mata Angin Production will present a Contemporary Dance entitled `Luminesent Twillight’ by Gerard Mosterd, a Dutch choreographer, at Sositet Building, Jl Sriwedani, Thursday-Friday (10-11/10) at 20.00. He will also conduct a workshop on Friday (11/10) 09.00-11:30 at the same place.
The producer, Erythina Baskorowati said, the contemporary dance performance ‘Luminesent Twillight’ tells about light and darkness. The choreographer, Gerard Mosterd, with the help of two skilled modern dancers (Tek Ng Vong, Esther Natzijl, one from the East, one from the West), a gamelan musician, Niels Walen, and a composer, Paul Goodman, was searching for motives and his personal passion in the art of motion.
“This contemporary dance performance is at the edge of two cultures, where contrast often leads to incomprehension, tension and even non-achievement,” said Baskarowati. This performance illustrated that many people are willing to listen. Dialogue can be created and a real meeting can occur because people hear each other. Born of a mixed marriage and its consequences this is the Gerard Mosterd’s framework in processing his works.
By processing the voltage between the two cultures, choreographers offer other possibilities of understanding the dance forms, and for a man with a background like Gerard Mosterd, this is the perfect goal to achieve. The tension between the two cultures, Baskorowati said, is the central theme in this performance. In the world of the arts in the Netherlands this is important since the Ministry of Culture supports the cultural encounters of different backgrounds. For Gerard Mosterd, this is an important topic either as an individual or as a professional dancer.
Baskorowati added, after his international dancing career, he decided to return to his home country to focus on the development of dance works in which he would combine Western and non-Western concepts in dance and theater. “He regularly visits Indonesia and often works together with dancers, musicians and choreographers from Indonesia,” he said.
Gerard Mosterd, the Dutch father and Indonesian mother choreographer, performing Luminescent Twilight around the Jawa-Bali. The piece which is inspired by the twilight.
TWO circles of light fell to the floor like a strong pillars. The rest is darkness space. Music was muttering sounds like a clock ticking. Even if without any dancers, the light and darkness on the stage as if it was bring a conversation.
Many foreign artists and choreographers who came to Indonesia are interested in the balance of our time. Here unlike in Europe, night and day exactly divided. Walter Spies found the shadows in Bali as a mistycal expression. Thus, fields, cows, farmers, bamboo grove in his canvas is always painted as if stricken by a back drop of light to create shadows that are imaginatically. Mella Jaarsma, when first came to Yogyakarta, always hunting the shadows.
Some time ago Suprapto Suryodarmo of Padepokan Lemah Putih, Surakarta, a training place of “meditation movement” for many tourists, held a program called Share the Shadows. Prapto also known often bring his foreign pupils to Parangtritis Beach, to process motion based on the shadows swept away by the waves.
Also in last year, at the Jakarta Art Institute, the leader of a group of dancers Double 6, Erick Wurtz from French performed visual exploration, which was based on the screen and shadows. Three female dancers moved, and their silhouettes were like being in a high-voltage virtual room. Based on the exploration of shadow puppets, they made optical surprises.
Mosterd is a “foreign” choreographer who added the rows whom are fascinated by the twilight. Dutch father and Indonesian mother, born and raised in Amersfoort, he seemed to find the most archaic of “his past”. From beginning to end, the stage atmosphere prove its sensitivity to light and dark contrasts. Sharp transitions of light that marked the changing of the scenes absolutely was not loose. Initially the frictions of rebab. Then Teck Voon Ng, the dancer from Malaysia who was bare-chested, black pants, moved. His standing position made only his part of shoulder rinsed by the light. Suddenly quick pass from behind him was Esther Natzijl. An opening which was quite impressive. The sounds gender, bonang, and gambang which was hit by Niels Walen, equipped with the electronic music by Paul Goodman, acted as accentuate to the atmosphere.
Indeed, the stage was able to face us in the atmosphere of mystery. As if completely true what Rudjito, our artistic stylist, said once, that in the east room, dark room is always a space for the psychic. Moreover shadow calculations that Mosterd did into the dancer’s body was really careful. Teck Voon Ng movements, though not much we could remember, gentle. Contrary to Esther Natzijl, which was fast. Alternately. If one was active, the other was silent. The frequency of the both movements became contrast.
What maybe lack was the dark-light only became a set to block both dancers. Dark-light was simply a static space for the dancer’s body. Mosterd was not wild to make light as an actor. He did not create light as something that communicate with dancers. He also did not much explore the effects of enlargement of the shadows on the floor or wall, or create a space in the space with light.
At the end of the performance, a Japanese paper screen on the stage was being moved back and forth. The two dancers from the two sides facing each other like a mirror. And then Teck Voon Ng tore the paper, formed like a door. From the rear, the light was fired through the “door” until it made the path of light on the floor. And a surprise happened. Suddenly, on the stage keroncong moresko was heard. Out from the door, after all the time the dancers moved on their own, they were crawling, rolling, “dancing” together. The atmosphere which is thick before was melted. Suddenly seemed to connect that the metaphor of dark, light, shadows, twilight are in the inner logic of everyday life of traditional communities in Java.
Not so many of our choreographers and light designers to seriously explore the dark and light contrast. Is this because we are not too far located with the things that we daily see, so we missed its artistic possibilities? Mosterd’s unpretentious performance at Gedung Kesenian Jakarta last week was a reminiscent of the problem.
Seno Joko Suyono
The rudeness of an Indonesian audience was no better demonstrated than during the conclusion of Luminescent Twilight at Gedung Kesenian recently. Besides a number of snoring, suited “art lovers” sleeping in the shabby, tacky, goldpainted plaster interior of the theater, concertgoers had to contend with the unwanted, extended shrill of cell phones.
The contemporary dance was supposed to reflect Dutch choreographer Gerard Mosterd’s internal struggle to accept his Indonesian ancestry. The irony of this East versus West battle being interrupted by technology cannot be understated. This arrogance – at least one of the criminals even answered the phone and began a mumbled conversation – ruined the finale of what had been entertaining, thought provoking 60 minutes. The show began for the majority – people were still arriving 20 minutes minutes into the piece – with the haunting gamelan music of Dutchman Niels Walen. Walen, barely illuminated to one side of the blackened step, used a plastic spoon and a rebab (Javanese violin), the softer gender and slenthem instruments, a gong and electronic overlays courtesy of Paul Goodman to achieve an atmosphere of loneliness.
Eventually, out of the darkness, Dutch-raised, Malaysianborn dancer Teck Voon Ng emerged. A single, narrow beam of light shone down on his back before he straightened and walked toward a second beam of light which slowly crept up his body to reveal his face for the first time.
This representation of Mosterd’s Eastern ancestry growing within him, playing more of a role in his life contrasted with his Western self, as performed by energetic Dutch dancer Ester Natzill. Natzill, who ran on stage, embraced and frolicked in the light. But it was clear she was troubled. Life is a battle and she struggled against time, against the pace of “modern” life, Her tortured facial expressions pleased the audience and she flirted with them, her movements at times, almost comical.
The dancers, though not truly tested athletically by the choreography, held the attention of the audience throughout, their meovements clearly expressing their internal and external conflicts. Teck grew in confidence throughout the piece, almost to the point of cockiness. His experimentation in the light – the quality of the lighting, and its intelligence. is a highlight – is a feature of his character.
The dancers finally square off against each other behind a back-lit paper screen. While a silhouetted Teck uses Javanese-style court dance movements. Natzijl, the crowd favorite, is fighting a bitter internal battle. Eventually Teck breaks through the thin screen, the gap in the torn, back-lit screen gives the impression of a pair of angel wings, perhaps a hint of salvation. as he emerges.
As the work climaxes the dancers have become an uncomfortable one, the music suggesting that though the dancers movements are in unison, all is not well behind the facade. The pair cease their movement and stare at each other before Teck stands and moves back towards the area of twilight as Natzijl exits stage left.
It is during this representation of Mosterd’s Eastern self retreating back into the gray area between luminescence and twilight, the finale of the piece, that the performance is interrupted and ruined by the cursed cell phone. It is clear, in this battle at least, the West and time have won hands down.
Luminescent Raitight hits Sositet Yogyakarta on Oct. 11; Theater Besar, Indonesian Arts Institute (STSI) Surakarta in Central Java on Oct. 12: Taman Budaya Surabaya on Oct. 15 and Oct. 16; and STSI Theater, Denpasar on Oct. 29. All shows begin at 8 p.m.
The dancers Esther Natzijl and Teck Voon Ng played were performing dance number “Luminescent Twilight” by Gerard Mosterd in general rehearsal at Gedung Kesenian Jakarta, Friday (27 / 9). This dance illustrated the combination of Western and Eastern elements, light and darkness.
EAST and West are often disputed. The dichotomy is even more pointed if it touches the realm of politics. But in the hands of choreographer Gerard Mosterd, East-West tensions just melt. Check his choreography titled Luminescent Twilight. This contemporary dance is performed at Gedung Kesenian Jakarta on 28-29 September 2002 at 20.00 pm.
Luminescent Twilight was talking about the two conflicting elements. According to Mosterd, the choreography was inspired by his identity which is a fusion between East and West. So, this scene became a kind of autobiography of his life. Mosterd’s father is a Dutch, and mother is an Indonesian. It is where he picked up the theme of the dance.
The man who graduated from the Royal Conservatory did not want to give special meaning to his work. “I want to liberate viewers to imagine themselves. It’s up to them how my work be interpreted. Is like, I do not want to feed them, and they only eat and swallow it. I am more incline to serve a variety of foods, and let them decide what is appropriate to their imaginations and minds,” Mosterd explained.
Mosterd admitted, his work was inspired by his personal experience. He wanted to show the differences and frictions, which are existed between these two cultures. Mosterd tried to describe through the symbolization of motion and lighting effects. Mosterd explored the composition of dark and light to the stage. The two dancers also performed different movements on stage. Only one moment of configuration, it was when an old keroncong music become its musical accompaniment. Movements that appeared in this piece were also the results of combination between ballet, modern dance and Indonesian traditional dance.
“There maybe equate my work with the social condition or political situation in Indonesia recently. Whatever course. If there are similarities, I let the audience to interpret according to their knowledge and imagination,” he added.
Luminescent Twilight performed by a pair of dancers, a woman and a man. By Mosterd both are used as symbols as representatives of East and West. No particular reason behind the selection of different sexes. “Just because my father and my mother are a man a woman.” Mosterd explained.
Unlike the identity of the father-mother, for the characterization of these two dancers. Mosterd even reversed both character. Female dancer symbolized the West, while the male dancer is a symbol of the East. It suited with the stereotypes of East-West, the female dancer moved so active and dynamic, while the man even danced gracefully like a Srimpi dancer.
“I deliberately reversed my dancers characterizations. We never know what is called the West or East. Sometimes they look the same, they can be far different or even upside down with what they called in the community. I think, everything is relative, depending on the framework our thinking, “said the man who was born in Amersfoort.
The dancers themselves also came from two different cultures. The male dancer Teck Von Ng is from Malaysia, while the female dancer Esther Natzijl is from Netherlands. In this performance, both dressed in costumes as simple as possible. Von Ng and Natzijl was wearing only a white shirt and black pants. According to Mosterd, it was deliberately done, because he wanted to highlight the movements and the conflicts in his work. Details such as clothing or makeup deliberately avoided.
The performance of Luminescent Twilight was one of agenda in the tour series of Gerard Mosterd in Indonesia. Besides Jakarta, Mosterd will also perform this work in Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surakarta and Denpasar. According to the plan, he is not only perform the work alone, but also do workshops at several art schools in those cities. This tour will end in Bali on 20 October. (ID/U-5)
Cameron Bates – Contributor – Jakarta
Gerard Mosterd is conflicted. He was raised on both nasi (rice) and potatoes.
The darkish, dancing Dutchman, born to a blueeyed, blonde-haired Dutch father and an Indonesian mother in the Netherlands, is wrestling with his cultural background – a struggle that first saw him return to his “mother country” two years ago to begin the fight to find his roots, to confront head-on his dual identity. “As a little kid I was told by my mother to be a shadow, or a wayang, to stay in the background while in the West, according to my father, it is necessary to search for the light, to profile your ego to be able to get things done. Is one better than the other?”
Mosterd looks comfortable sitting under the enveloping Jakarta haze in the garden of a landscaped colonial home in upmarket Menteng. His batik shirt is buttoned and he smokes the occasional cigarette as he explains about the much anticipated Indonesian performances of Luminescent Twilight.
He is excited and sits on the edge of his chair. “This is the first time in history that a contemporary dance piece inspired by a Dutch-Indonesian background will be performed this extensively throughout Indonesia.” In a clear voice no match for the nearby gurgling kolam ikan (fish pond) or the cooing pigeons imprisoned behind bars, he recounts his artistic history which began with improvised, slow Indonesian dances as a child and did not end with his education in classical ballet and modern dance under Marian Sarstadt at the dance academy of the Royal Conservatory in the Hague.
After graduating in 1985 he danced internationally with several companies, including the Royal Ballet of Flanders, London Festival Ballet (later ENB), Concordanse Paris and Basel Ballet. He now teaches and has choreographed three pieces, with Luminescent Twilight his first full-length work.
The 60-minute autobiographical performance features Teck Voon Ng as Mosterd’s Eastern self and Ester Natzijl as his Western self. The two dancers are separated by a thin paper screen which Mosterd says may as well be as thick as the Berlin wall. “This piece reflects a phase that I am in now, a desire to translate my conflicts, my sympathies, my antipathies.”
He explains that being born out of a mixed marriage was the clay he used to mold his performance. A performance which Dutch newspaper Rotterdam’s Dagblad praised: “Seldom has a question been visualized so clearly in imagery and movement.” On a deeply personal level Mosterd says the clash of cultures proved too much for his parents who, though now friends, could not live together.
“All my life that’s what my parents were dealing with because my parents’ lives were that extreme that they never really managed to understand each other. Sometimes there were maddening situations where they could nearly kill each other.” Another key element incorporated in the work is his parents different approaches to life.
“It refers to being born or living in the twilight zone between light and darkness … your personality is put to one side and since I feel I am between both I consider myself to be in the gray zone.” Mosterd said the piece combines the slower timeless movements of Asian dance, including the Javanese court dances, with the time-conscious movements of Western dance. But above all else, Mosterd hopes his work entertains.
“This piece attempts in 60 minutes to bridge the Oriental’ style of dancing with the Western approach to dancing. Concentrated, meditative, introverted movements changed with dynamic, expressive gestures challenged between the masculine and the feminine, the aggressive and the passive, introversion and extroversion and Eastern and Western.”
The movements, combined with lighting and music from gamelan musician Niels Walen and electronic composer Paul Goodman, confront differences in bicultural behavior in a movement vocabulary, he said. He added it was important for both cultures to understand each other. “That’s what this piece is about, to make an effort, to get to know each other better.”
Luminescent Twilight by Gerard Mosterd premiers in Indonesia at Gedung Kesenian Jakarta in Central Jakarta on Sept. 28 and Sept. 29. A workshop will be held at the Jakarta Arts Institute on Oct. 1.
Other venues: STSI Theater, Bandung on Oct. 6; Sositet Yogyakarta on Oct. 10 and Oct. 11; Theater Besar, STSI, Surakarta on, Oct. 12; Taman Budaya, Surabaya on Oct. 15, and Oct. 16; STSI Theater Denpasar on Oct. 19: All shows begin at 8 p.m.
The famous Dutch choreographer, Gerard Mosterd, will perform as the main performance of Gedung Kesenian Jakarta International Festival, on September 28-29 at 20:00 pm. Gerard will display his masterpiece titled Luminescent Twilight. The idea of the dance movement which is brought by male and female dancers is a form of question in inner turmoil and Gerard’s experience as an Indo child.
“I was born from Dutch father and Indonesian mother with contradictory values,” Gerard said in Jakarta last week. Luminescent Twilight motions display the philosophy values in contradiction between the East and the West which were inherent the life of this graduate Royal Conservatory The Hague choreographer.
For example about the philosophy of time. “In Indonesia, people are often late, while in the West is very tight on time,” said the man who was born in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. In one part of this one-hour duration dance piece, Gerard showed clock ticking sound for background music. He offered simple background musics. All excavated from Javanese gamelan instruments and computer processed. In the last half of the dance, Gerard inserted keroncong Moresko 1940s for background music. That records were acquired in his land of birth.
Gerard explored a lot of various elements of the Southeast Asian dance movements and combined it with the Western dance. The source was obtained from his social intercourse with the choreographer Sardono W. Kusumo in Solo and Martinus Miroto in Yogyakarta. An art critic in the Netherlands, Mieke de Bont, once commented on the work of Gerard. “Rare is a question can be visualized very clearly on the imagination and movement,” said the critic. • telni
“Luminescent Twilight” – by the choreographer Gerard Mosterd, who is of Dutch-Indonesian origins, which was performed at Gedung Kesenian Jakarta, September 28-29 2002. This dance was inspired by his being born of mixed cultures and in which he combines Western and Eastern basic dance movements.
Dim light covered the stage. The area not reached by the lighting was in darkness. It was like being in a twilit atmosphere, or early morning before dawn. The space between dark and light was left empty for about seven minutes. It had an atmosphere like in yard under dim moon and the strains of a Rebab were heard playing a Javanese tune.
This dim atmosphere was the introduction of Luminescent Twilight a dance performance by Gerard Mosterd, a Dutch-Indonesian choreographer at Gedung Kesenian Jakarta (GKJ) on September 28-29, 2002. The work with a duration of 60 minutes presented the dancers Teck Voon Ng and Ester Natzijl. Gender and Kendang were played by Niels Walen, and the electronic music composition was by Paul Goodman.
The Lighting setting became the statement of the work’s theme which the artists born in Amersfoort the Netherlands tried to give form to, it was a struggle of identity of one who was born between two cultures, Western and Eastern. Elements of Mosterd’s performance based on his uncertainty and existence in this “hybrid” condition were presented through lighting, motion and music.
After the introduction of the dim lighting and the rebab, there was a rumble like the beating of drums. The stage was completely dark and suddenly the figure of a man appeared in a standing position with his body bent. His figure was only highlighted by dim light, so his facial expression was only faintly visible. He straightened up and moved his hand very slowly and gently. This was reminiscent of Javanese dance movements. The intensity of the light dimmed, as the movement became weaker.
A moment later the female dancer appeared jumping lively, explosively, with powerful movements like a ballet dancer. The figure was highlighted by bright light. Her expression was clearly visible, including her mouth which grimaced expressively. The movements of this female dancer were in contrast with the movements of the male dancer which were “minimalist”.
The next section was built up of contrasts such as dark-light, aggressive-possessive, explosive-repressive, and such like. Including the use of a screen, or screens commonly used in shadow puppet plays. The male dancer seemed to be looking for his identity on both sides of the screen. He played with the shadows behind the screen, and the wadag expression outside of the screen.
Mosterd said, Luminescent Twilight was the artistic expression of his identity which were of Western and Oriental descent. The choreographer who studied classical ballet at the Royal Conservatory, Den Haag, the Netherlands, explored these cultural “frictions”.
“I grew up between rice and potatoes. Even though I am living in the West, there is a sense of Indo in me,” said Mosterd who has had social contacts with dance communities such as Gugum Gumbira and Sardono W. Kusumo.
Mosterd’s version of the merging vocabulary of Western and Eastern movements indeed is not a new thing. However, in Luminescent Twilight the emotions resulting from “rice and potato” stew was strongly felt. At the end of the performance the song Keroncong Moritsku was heard which is known as the sweet result of the East-West synthesis. That sweet mulatto aesthetics which is to be achieved by the mulatto Dutch-Indonesian artist. (xar)
Gerard Mosterd danste, na voltooiing van zijn studie aan de Dansvakopleiding van het Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag, bij buitenlandse gezelschappen zoals het London Festival Ballet, Concordanse Paris en het Koninklijke Ballet van Vlaanderen. In 1994 werkte hij als choreografisch assistent en balletmeester voor het Ulmer Ballet. Sinds enkele jaren experimenteert hij zelf met choreografie. In zijn werken is zijn fascinatie voor niet-westerse (theater-)culturen terug te vinden.
Van Gerard Mosterd hebben we al vaker choreografieën in het Bintang-Theater laten zien: in 1999 ‘Ketuk Tilu’, in 2000 ‘Angin’ en in 2001 ‘Demam’. Dit jaar presenteert hij zijn jongste productie, ‘Lichtende Schemering’.
‘Lichtende Schemering’: tussen licht en duisternis zoekt de Amersfoortse choreograaf Gerard Mosterd naar zijn oorspronkelijke drijfveren en passie voor bewegingskunst. Mosterd krijgt hierbij de hulp van twee moderne dansers (een van oosterse, een van westerse komaf) en een gamelanspeler. De muziek is van componist Gene Carl. De dansvoorstelling speelt zich af op de grens van twee culturen. Gerard Mosterd: “De tegenstellingen leiden vaak tot onbegrip, spanningen en onbereikbaarheid. Een dialoog kan pas ontstaan wanneer men de tijd neemt om goed naar elkaar te luisteren. Pas dan `hoort’ men elkaar en komt een werkelijke ontmoeting tot stand.” Hij werd zelf geboren in een gemengd huwelijk – zijn vader is Hollands, zijn moeder Indisch – en beschouwt dit gegeven als de voedingsbodem voor zijn voorstellingen. De choreograaf verblijft regelmatig in Indonesië waar hij samenwerkt met dansers, musici en choreografen.
‘Lichtende Schemering’ is in het Bin-tangTheater te zien op vrijdag 14 juni, 20.30 uur, en op donderdag 20 juni, om 21.15 uur. Op donderdag 20 juni wordt Gerard Mosterd om 16.00 uur geïnterviewd in het Bibit-Theater. •
LICHTENDE SCHEMERING is een eigentijdse dansvoorstelling van de Nederlands/Indische choreograaf Gerard Mosterd. De voedingsbodem voor deze voorstelling wordt gevormd door de consequenties van het geboren zijn uit een gemengd huwelijk. Het stuk speelt zich af op de grens tussen twee culturen waarvan tegenstellingen zoals bijvoorbeeid introversie versus extraversie vaak leiden tot onbegrip, spanningen en zelfs onbereikbaarheid.
Voor Lichtende Schemering werkt Gerard Mosterd samen met twee moderne dansers; de Westerse Ester Natzijl en de Oosterse Wei-Meng Poon, componist Paul Goodman en gamelanspeler Niels Walen.
De gamelan is een traditioneel Indonesisch slagwerkinstrument. Voor deze voorstelling wordt het instrument niet op de traditionele wijze gebruikt maar is gezocht naar een nieuwe vorm. In de Westerse wereld spelen vaak kracht en dynamiek een belangrijke rol in de dans. Gerard Mosterd experimenteert daarentegen veel met trage bewegingsaflopen, iets dat kenemerkend is voor de Aziatische dans. Door gebruik te maken van de Aziatische én de Westerse dansvormen komen niet alleen cultuurverschillen doeltreffend aan bod, maar de kijker wordt tevens de mogelijkheid geboden om de Aziatische dansvorm (beter) te leren kennen.
Gerard Mosterd studeerde in 1985 af aan de dansvakopleiding van het koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag. Hij begon een veelbewogen carrière als professional danser bij internationale topgezelschappen, waaronder het London Festival Ballet en het Koninklijk Ballet in Vlaanderen. Na zijn loopbaan als uitvoerend danser in het internationale circuit, werkt Gerard Mosterd sinds enige jaren als theaterdansmaker in Nederland. Zijn eerste stuk MENTAL MECHANICS INTO DRIPPING SENSES, werd geselecteerd voor het internationale Choregrafenconcours 1997 in Hannover. Hij verdiept zich in het vervlechten van westerse en niet westerse opvattingen over dans en theater. Regelmatig verblijft hijin Indonesië waar hij samenwerkt met dansers, musici en choreografen.
Choreografie/regie: Gerard Mosterd. Dans: Wei-Meng Poon en Ester Natzijl. Gamelanspeler: Niels Walen. Componist elektronische muziek: Paul Goodman. Lichtadvies: Rob van de Poel. Kostuums: Jantine Kraayeveld.
do 2 mei, 21:00 uur, Lantaren 2, entree: € 7,50 / € 5,50 (gratis met L/V passe-partout)
Deze maand gaat ‘Lichtende Schemering’ in première in Theater De Lieve Vrouw. Net is een elgentijdse dansvoorstelling van de Nederlands/Indonesische choreograaf Gerard Mosterd. De consequenties van het geboren zijn uit een gemengd buwelijk vormen de voedingsbodem voor zijn voorstellingen. Het stuk speelt zich af op de grens van twee culturen waarvan de tegenstellingen vaak leiden tot onbegrip, spanningen en zelfs onberelkbaarheid.
door Simone Heitinga
Van jongs af aan werd Gerard Mosterd heen en weer geslingerd tussen enerzijds een Oosterse- en anderzijds een Westerse opvoeding. Met dat gegeven in gedachten maakte hij de voorstelling ‘Lichtende Schemering’. De titel van het stuk refereert aan ‘tussen de wal en het schip’, een gevoel dat her kend zal worden door mensen die opgevoed zijn tussen twee culturen. Ook mensen van bijvoorbeeld Turkse of Marokkaanse afkomst herkennen dit probleem. Ook zij zitten in een schemerzone. Mosterd geeft een concreet voorbeeld uit eigen ervaring: “Introversie versus extraversie. Hier is het gebruikelijk dat je voor jezelf opkomt, jezelf sterk laat gelden. In het Oosten is dat onbeschoft. Maar soms kan je simpelweg niet tussen die twee culturen in dobberen, dus moet je dwangmatig een keuze maken. In deze samenleving wordt je gedwongen om voor jezelf te vechten. Daarvoor moeten sommige van die Oosterse principes overboord gegooid worden.”
De voorstelling wordt gebracht door twee virtuoze moderne dansers, de Westerse Ester Natzijl en de Oosterse Ming Poon, componist Paul Goodman en gamelanspeler Niels Walen. Mosterd: “Gamelan is een Indonesische set slagwerkinstrumenten. Gamelan heeft een heel specifiek geluid, alleen de klank suggereert alleen zeer oude geschiedenis. Ik ben op zoek gegaan naar een nieuwe vorm. De instrumenten worden dus niet op de traditionele wijze gebruikt, want daarvoor ben ik veel te eigenzinnig.” Door gebruik te maken van Aziatische én Westerse bewegingsvormen komen niet alleen cultuurverschillen aan bod, maar de kijker wordt tevens de mogelijkheid geboden om de Oosterse bewegingsvorm te leren kennen. Gerard Mosterd studeerde in 1985 af aan de dansvakopleiding van het Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag. Hij begon een veelbewogen carrière als professioneel danser bij internationale topgezelschappen, waaronder het London Festival Ballet, het Concordanse in Parijs, het Basel Ballet en het Koninklijk Ballet van Vlaanderen. In 1996 keerde hij terug naar Nederland en begon met freelance choreograferen. Zijn eerste stuk, ‘Mental Mechanics into Dripping Senses’, werd direct geselecteerd voor het internationale Choreoqrafenconcours 1997 in Hannover. Inmiddels heeft hij al verschillende stukken op zijn repertoire staan die zijn genomineerd voor internationale choreografie concoursen.
Select Uit, April2002. Theater De Lieve Vrouw, vrijdag 12 en zaterdag 13 april, 20.30 uur
Tussen licht en duisternis is de Amersfoortse choreograaf Gerard Mosterd op zoek naar zijn oorspronkelijke drijfveren en passie voor bewegingskunst. Het resultaat krijgt gestalte via twee virtuoze moderne dansers, een oosterse en een westerse, een gamelanspeler en componist Gene Carl in de voorstelling ‘Lichtende Schemering’. Deze eigentijdse dansvoorstelling speelt zich af op de grens van twee culturen. De consequenties van het geboren zijn uit een gemengd huwelijk vormen de voedingsbodem voor de voorstellingen van Gerard Mosterd. Na een lange loopbaan als uitvoerend danser in het internationale circuit verdiept Gerard zich, als theaterdansmaker terug in Nederland, in het vervlechten van westerse en niet-westerse opvattingen over dans en theater. Regelmatig verblijft hij in Indonesië, waar hij samenwerkt met dansers, musici en choreografen.
Theater De Lieve Vrouw
Vrijdag 12 april try out
Zaterdag 13 april première
Aanvang 20.30 uur.
After having danced successfully with the Royal Ballet of Flanders, London Festival Ballet (later: English National Ballet), Concordanse in Paris and the Basle Ballet, Amersfoort doesn’t seem to be the most logical next step. But Gerard Mosterd (1964) chose Amersfoort as his home base after a dancing career abroad.
Although he’s been raised as a citizen of Amersfoort , London or Paris would be more of a right choice. Returning to his place of birth was a decision Mosterd took first and foremost driven by his feelings. “It’s not always clear why a man feels attracted to something”, Mosterd says. “If you would ask me why I became a dancer I wouldn’t be able to give you a clear answer either. Dancers are often emotional people and they react mostly intuitively. This applies also to me.” Since 1996 Gerard Mosterd has worked mainly as a choreographer.
From a distance life as a professional, international dancer looks like a fairytale.
Beautiful costumes, performances around the whole world in famous theatres, working with the most sought after choreographers (such as Mats Ek and Jiri Kylian) and dancing in top notch productions. And what’s more: evening after evening fascinating full houses with the movements of your body. On the down side there is the mutual fighting among each other for the best roles and the daily struggle of the body to perform continuously at peak-level.
“It is possible to compare high level dancing with a top sport like athletics” Gerard Mosterd says. “Physically, emotionally and mentally one has to endure continuous stress. “
As a disadvantage he names the necessity to be always available. “It’s not a nine to five job”, he says. “You’ve got to learn all the roles so when you arrive at home you’ve got to continue. It’s not very Dutch to work like this. Dutch people are economists and dance is not economical, logical or necessarily orderly.” In spite of these disadvantages the ethereal aura of theatre keeps on exercising its seductive attraction. To undergo this other dimension, which takes shape on stage, is finally the most important aspect.
DANSSTUK LICHTENDE SCHEMERING VAN GERARD MOSTERD OVER TEGENSTELLINGEN
Choreograaf Gerard Mosterd legt in zijn nieuwe voorstelling de nadruk op tegenstellingen: man tegenover vrouw, oosterse verfijning tegenover westerse hectiek, traditionele gamelan tegenover elgentijdse elektronica. Zelfs de titel is een paradox: ‘Lichtende Schemering’ Wilhemijn in ‘t Veld
Het contrast is groot. Met trage armgebaren zet de Aziatische danser Ming Poon een solo in op ijle, langgerekte klanken. Met een reeks vloeiende bewengingen creèert hij een geladen sfeer, die plotseling wordt doorbroken als Ester Natzijl het podium op komt rennen. Haar nelle, hoekige bewengingen zorgen voor onrust. Ze kronkelt en schreeuwt. Ze vertrekt haar gezicht tot vreemde grimassen, terwijl het dwingende ritme van een metronoom de spanning opdrijft.
Choreograaf Gerard Mosterd legt in zijn nieuwe voorstelling de nadruk op tegenstellingen: man tegenover vrouw, oosterse verfijning tegenover westerse hectiek, traditionele gamelan tegenover eigentijdse electronica. Zelfs de titel is een paradox: ‘Lichtende Schemering’.
Mosterd: “Schemering suggereert dat je tussen licht en duisternis zit. Als je in het licht bent, trek je alle aandacht. Dan zoek je ook alle aandacht. Dat is het exposeren van het ego, het ik. Dat is voor mij een typisch westerse eigenschap. Het donker is de andere kant, de shaduwzijde.
“Schemering heeft ook een negatieve bijklank, het is geheimzinnig, tussen waken en slapen. Met een verwijing naar de Amerikaanse televisieserie Twilight Zone: “In het schemergebied gebeuren griezelige dingen.” Met de toevoeging ‘lichtend’ wijst hij op een feitelijke onmogelijkheid: “Zodra er licht schijnt, is er geen sprake meer van schemering.”
De tegenstelling tussen licht en donker, oost en west, zit in hemzelf, legt Mosterd uit. De spanning tussen twee culturen is een gevoel dat hij van jongs af met zich meedraagt. Als zoon van een Nederlandse vader en een Indische moeder weet hij verschillende werelden in zichzelf verenigd. Als klein kind danste hij in familiekring op oosterse muziek; als elfjarige ging hij op ballet, waar hij een compleet andere manier van bewegen kreeg aangeleerd. “Oosterse dans is ingetongen, meditatief, naar binnen gekeerd”, verteld Mosterd. “Het is traag. Alle aandacht gaat naar de beweging. Westerse dans is meer gericht op de buitenkant, op snelheid en indruk maken. Ballet is als kunstvorm ontwikkeld aan het Franse hof. Het was bedoeld om te vermaken.” Als balletdanser werkte Mosterd bij verschillende buitenlandse gezelschappen, zoals het Koninklijk Ballet van Vlaanderen en het London Festival Ballet. Toen hij tijdens een tournee naar Taiwan kennismaakte met Aziatische dans, voelde hij zich direct aangesproken. “Ik voelde een enorme verwantschap met de manier waarop men daar omgaat met theater dans.” Sinds die confrontatie houdt de Amersfoortse kunstenaar zich intensief bezig met oosterse dans en de integratie daar van met westerse dansvormen. “Een vorm van psychotherapie noemt de choreograaf zijn werk dat sterk is gebaseerd op eigen ervaringen.
In ‘Lichtende Schemering’ verteld Mosterd een autobiografisch getint verhaal over een ontmoeting tussen een man en een vrouw tussen twee culturen. Met elegante bewegingen van vooral zijn armen en handen belichaamt de uit Singapore afkomstige Ming Poon de oosterse wereld. De manier waarop hij beweegt, langzaam en uiterst geconcentreerd, staat haaks op die van de Nederlandse Ester Natzijl. Door haar rusteloosheid vormt zij het clichébeeld van het westen: druk, dynamisch en verkrampt.
De dansers verbeelden een spel van zoeken en aftasten. Ze zoeken toenadering, trekken elkaar aan, klemmen zich vast en stoten elkaar weer af. Het aarzelende contact tussen de twee verbeeld Mosterd door middel van een schimmenspel, waarbij een papieren wand de dansers van elkaar scheidt. Wanneer hun handen elkaar vinden, waarschuwen plotselinge gamelanklanken voor gevaar. Harmonieuze, synchrone bewegingen suggereren daarna even een eenheid, maar van een duurzaam evenwicht is nog geen sprake. Uiteindelijk gaan beide dansers hun eigen weg.
‘Lichtende Schemering’ in Theater De Lieve Vrouw Amersfoort, vr 1 apr (try out) en za 13 apr (première), 20.30. Tournee.