Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre and Eko Supriyanto
Reviewed 30 October 2018
Indonesian performer and choreographer, Eko Supriyanto (also known as Eko Pece), returns to Oz Asia with his solo performance, Salt, an entrancing and meditative piece of Indonesian contemporary dance.
The journey of Salt begins with the stage in darkness and theatre mute until a shockingly eerie sound shatters the silence, jolting the audience. As the haunting sounds continue, a faint silhouette can be seen slowly approaching the audience. The naked figure starts to move with bold, twisting arm actions and snake-like, winding body movements, breaking the stillness of the stage before disappearing back into the dark.
As he appears again, now wearing a light, multi-layered skirt, Supriyanto begins to utilise more of the space and interacts with the pile of salt, elegantly spreading it around its original position. As his actions begin to display a powerful and controlled strength, they contrast with the delicate, flowing skirt that lightly follows his every move creating mesmerising visuals for the audience.
Considered one of the best choreographers in Indonesia, Supriyanto is truly dedicated to his work and it’s clear to see within his performances with his body in peak performance shape, moulded by years of training and performing. In 2015 Supriyanto graced Adelaide’s stage with the acclaimed Cry Jailolo, a novel dance piece that saw Indonesian folk dances transformed into futuristic dance visions and the first piece in the Trilogy of Dancing Jailolo. Salt now provides the final chapter, following Bala-Bala, and is a much more personal piece about the performer’s relationship with his body, therefore performed solo unlike the previous two shows.
For Salt, Supriyanto combines the forms of Jatilan (Magelang folk trance dance) and Cakalele (war dance from North Maluku), to provide contrasting movements within the performance. Through these precisely controlled movements, he addresses the rhythm and force of the ocean, which makes up 80% of the Indonesian archipelago.
Salt’s soundtrack is a haunting yet beautifully meditative addition that resonates throughout the theatre. The unusual music is matched with a simple set made up of a strip of reflective material providing a break between audience and performer and a pile of caustic salt sitting in the centre of the stage. As the performance evolves and the salt is spread, Supriyanto’s white footprints around the stage are evidence of his body’s journey, filling the originally dark, blank space with the prints of his many nimble footsteps.
With its meditative style, repetitive beats and simple set, Salt will provide a mesmerising experience for those who can relax and embrace it with patience, while others may find it simply too hard to maintain their focus. This unique piece of contemporary dance, however, is definitely worth the attempt.
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Venue: The Odeon, 57a Queen Street, Norwood, 5067
Season: 30 – 31 October
Duration: 55 mins
Tickets: $30 – $45