Virtual Hope Talk
Video Available on Aug 26th

Watan Tusi, a choreographer from the Truku ethnic group in Taiwan, and Eko Supriyanto, an Indonesian choreographer, present a cultural exchange through two dance works, deconstructing different body languages and textures and examining contemporary diasporas and bonding. 

Eko Supriyanto’s AriAri draws on Javanese philosophy. Originally translated as “placenta,” AriAri describes the profound bond between a newborn baby and its energetic twin. Together with two Indigenous Taiwanese dancers, Eko Supriyanto uses this metaphor to explore our varying understandings of taking care and protecting each other. An important element in Javanese philosophy surrounding birth and new life, AriAri affirms that as human beings we have an invisible spiritual connection with our fellow human beings, with our ancestors, families, and with tradition.

Reflecting on the experience of labour migration between different regions, Watan Tusi brings us on a sojourn through Indonesian ‘Dangdut’ pop music. In “Ita,” he choreographs a mixed cast of Taiwanese and Indonesian dancers, aiming to explore these labourers’ experience through the expression of their bodies under different music atmospheres to create the bonding feeling of “us.” 

The double bill of AriAri and Ita embarks from the spiritual bonds between oneself and companions, seeks emotional vibration with other people, engages in observation, creation, and interpretation from different cultural qualities, and responds to the most precious contact among human beings.

Program Sponsor
2022 TAIWANfest Toronto Ita AriAri
2022 TAIWANfest Toronto Ita AriAri -2

About the Artists

Artist Talk 2022 TAIWANfest Toronto Ita AriAri_Watan

Watan Tusi

TAI Body Theatre Founder

In 2012, Watan Tusi established TAI Body Theatre in Hualien County. The former director of Formosa Indigenous Song and Dance Troupe, Watan has participated in numerous significant field studies on Taiwan’s Indigenous peoples’ traditional culture  and important choreography productions during his 10+ years with the Troupe. An active member of Taiwan’s Indigenous performing arts scene, Watan is a talented performer, choreographer, screenwriter and director. 

TAI in the Truku language means to look or to see. It is Watan’s passion for traditional Indigenous culture that makes his performances so memorable. “Are there new possibilities for Indigenous song and dance other than traditional rituals, ceremonies, or tourist performances?” he asks. In hopes of discovering the answer, Watan spent two years in field research, understanding the relationship between the feet and the land, documenting over 60 types of feet movements. Through each round of creative deconstruction and reconstruction, new forms of the body and dance are produced. His works touch on a variety of issues including Indigenous literature, body and music, the contemporary plight of the indigenous peoples, and environmental conflicts.

Artist Talk 2022 TAIWANfest Toronto Ita AriAri_Eko

Eko Supriyanto

EkosDance Company Founder

Choreographer and Artistic Director, Founder of EkosDance Company and Solo Dance Studio in Surakarta, Indonesia, Eko Supriyanto is the leading Indonesian dancer and choreographer of his generation. Eko completed his Doctoral degree in Performance Studies at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta in 2015, and his second Doctoral degree on Creation Program at ISI Surakarta in 2018. Beginning in 2011, Eko’s concern for the environment and “empowering the local” has manifested in cultural design activities for community empowerment in various regions, especially the eastern parts of Indonesia: Jailolo, Tidore, Sula and Morotai (North Maluku), Belu, East Nusa Tenggara, Taliwang, West Sumbawa, and Papua.

The concept of silent tourism was also promoted by Eko in the form of new dances of Cry Jailolo (2013), BALABALA (2016), and SALT (2017), which have also been performed in Europe, the USA, Australia, and Asia from 2013 to 2019. His latest work “IBU-IBU BELU” Bodies of Border was performed and co-produced in TPAM (Japan), Australia, and Europe (2019-2022). Eko is now a full faculty member at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts. He is one of the curators of the Kharisma Event Nusantar at the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Republic of Indonesia.

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