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‘Ontosoroh’ is an evocative collaborative music and dance project between Peni Candra Rini (vocalist / composer), Melbourne-based Ade Suharto (dancer/choreographer) and musicians from Surakarta, Central Java in Indonesia.
Peni combines traditional and contemporary vocal techniques, such as classical Javanese songs, tembang, which she has written in both poetic and colloquial Javanese language, as well as experimental and exploratory vocals. Ade draws from the vocabulary of classical Javanese and other dance styles to shape the narrative flow of the work.
The work is inspired by the character Nyai Ontosoroh from the novel This Earth of Mankind by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Indonesia’s most celebrated author. Ontosoroh represents the emergence of radical new voices in Indonesian culture, voices that paved the way for Indonesia’s developing nationalism and subsequent independence. As women living and working more than a century since the days of Ontosoroh, Peni and Ade’s collaboration interprets the most inspiring woman in the post-reformation world of Indonesian literature through a contemporary lens.
Support comes from She Makes War – the solo project of multi-instrumentalist, producer and visual artist Laura Kidd. The day after completing work on her fourth album in June 2017, Laura flew out to spend seven weeks in Indonesia, learning about traditional instruments and soaking up the sights and sounds of Java, Bali and Lombok as part of a British Council’s UK/ID Indonesia Season. She will be sharing some stories from her time in Indonesia, projecting images from her trip and debuting a brand new song inspired by her experiences. ‘A fearless performer matching Marika Hackman’s edgier singer songwriter style with Wolf Alice at their most grungy’ Music Radar UK
‘Ontosoroh’ is an Indonesian-Australian Collaboration and is part of EUROPALIA INDONESIA – a series of 4 shows in London in association with EUROPALIA Festival based in Brussels.