Presented by Teater Garasi
Reviewed 24 September 2015
Contemporary Indonesian dance theatre has arrived in Adelaide, with The Streets painting a graphic and often confronting picture about what the world is like in the bustling chaos of Jakarta. This performance throws you into a world where there’s no room for the individual, and you are unable to ignore the stories of this intense, yet beautiful society.
Stepping into the Space Theatre transports you to the lively and colourful world of the Indonesian capital, as you are surrounded by hawkers, street performers, ladies of the night and military personnel ensuring no outward or unruly behaviour. The theatre is transformed by Indonesian political posters, bright lights and signage of the night life and the extensive use of corrugated iron. The performers and set capture the streets of the city so well that they even caused an audience member who resides in Indonesia to exclaim how it felt exactly like a busy Jakarta street on a Sunday morning.
The Streets successfully presents issues within the country’s culture using song, dance and storytelling. Short stories are told throughout the performance that present individual Indonesian citizens struggles within their society. These stories un-fold further through the athletic dancer’s movements combined with the dramatic music that fills the theatre. We witness a street market, a wedding, a late night in the city, and many more regular events that keep the bustling street moving. Some of these performers also astound with their beautiful singing voices, another impressive addition to their many talents.
This performance deals with strong and complicated issues that pull you out of your comfort zone, though it is done in such a creative and interpretive way that it doesn’t create tension or un-ease. It explains and informs the audience about social issues within the society, while remaining entertaining. These issues include the deadly conflict between the strong military and Government presence, the high level of poverty and the relationship between new and old culture, as well Eastern and Western traditions colliding. These themes are also softened through many moments of humour such as comedic interactions between the performers (communication via yelling as well as play fighting)
Let yourself be transported to the bustling streets of Jakarta, and be engulfed in a truly individual culture, as The Streets presents a world vastly different to our own.
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Venue: Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, Festival Drive, Adelaide
Season: 24 – 26 September
Duration: 1 hour
Tickets: $20.00 – $40.00