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Billowing Sails

Once the sail billows,
there should be no more doubts!

An Indonesian spirit-lifting saying goes like this: “Once the sail billows, there should be no more doubts!” The saying defines the spirit that embodies Billowing Sails, a program that was born out of limitations in a time of global pandemic.

In 2020, IDF initially planned to organize its biannual festival. Alas, the plan had to be modified in response to the global pandemic. Refusing to give in to the situation, IDF held its first ever online festival, taking up the theme IDF.2020.zip – DAYA: CARI CARA. Billowing Sails became one of the main programs, involving 12 dance choreographers from different countries across the globe to put their pandemic reflections into a short dance film. Their works were then turned into a medium to open up dialogues on local issues highlighted in every film.

 

Billowing Sails is an expression of solidarity that spreads positive spirit through virtual platforms. This experiment was eye-opening to the festival team, that emotions, feelings and sentiments can be transferred through the screen, surpassing time and geographical boundaries. The saol in this context also represents a tool that invites us to explore different possibilities in dance and socio-cultural practices.

Billowing Sails Series :

Body and Rasa in Terra Incognita
Virtual Bodies
Mandala Bodies
Billowing Sails 2022

Body and Rasa in Terra Incognita series

Billowing Sails is one of IDF’s platform programs, which was launched in 2020, along with the implementation of IDF 2020, entitled IDF 2020.zip – DAYA: CARI CARA. The initiation of this program departs from the reflection of our mediated experience, which was vastly becoming a big part of our lifestyles due to the high use of communication technology during Covid-19 pandemic. PSBB (Large-Scale Social Restrictions), Lockdown and PPKM (Enforcement of Restrictions on Social Activities) do limit movement and physical connectivity, but communication technology offers the possibility for us – who have access – to initiate some virtual connection. The virtual program “Billowing Sails”, besides enabling us to overcome distance, was expected to lead us to explore new possibilities for dance and socio-cultural practices. Since it was first launched, the IDF has initiated two series of Billowing Sails in 2021; the Body Mandala series and the Virtual Body series, featuring short dance films by Indonesian and international choreographers. We refer to this program as a Mini Dance Film Festival.

As part of the Road to IDF 2022 program series, Billowing Sails: Body and Rasa in Terra Incognita is curated by Linda Mayasari (Lead Curator of IDF 2022) and Dian Anggraini (guest curator of Billowing Sails). Billowing Sails: Body and Rasa in Terra Incognita features works from 13 choreographers from 10 regions in Indonesia and 3 choreographers from other Asian countries. The choreographers will each create a short dance film between 3-5 minutes that will be shown over three days on August 25, 26, 27, 2022. Critical and reflective reading of the work and themes will be conducted through online discussion on August 28.

Billowing Sails : Body and Rasa in Terra Incognita series

by
Dian Anggraini (House Curator of IDF 2022)
Linda Mayasari (Guest Curator of Billowing Sails 2022)

We can easily refer to a place by mentioning its name, describing its landscape or floor plan, and pointing out its coordinates on the map. The development of the latest technology has also provided Google Maps, which not only makes it easy for us to know the location of certain places but also provides various features, such as route guidance, satellite imagery and so on for virtual exploration to various parts of the world. It seems that there is no corner on this earth that has not been touched by human exploration. It is as if the geographic mystery of terra incognita (unexplored territory) has disappeared because it has been fully explored.

Terra (region) becomes incognita (unexplored) because people have never visited or do not know of its existence, but it is not so for people who have visited or lived there. Terra incognita (unexplored territory) always depends on who is looking at it and what is the situation of the body experiencing its space. The body is part of human existence because it is the body that makes up humans in this world. With the body, humans become spatio-temporal beings and occupy space and time. The body is bound to all things that exist in the world because these things cannot be independent, because they can only be recognized through human perception and existence, and that existence is manifested concretely in the concept of the human body. In his magnum opus entitled Phenomenology of Perception (1945), the philosopher Merleau-Ponty consistently argued that the entirety of a human body comes to being by touching and perceiving the world, thus the body and the world are two inseparable entities.

Is a place just an area on earth that we can just step on? Is terra incognita really fully explored? Perhaps there is a type of terra incognita that unfolds in our bodily experience of a place. These questions arise from a reflection on how the body relates to a place, considering that there are certain meanings that we often attach to a place because there are experiences, feelings, important events that are depicted in our memories, whether romantic, dilemmatic, or even romantic or traumatic. For example, no matter how far away we go, our hometown will still be our homecoming destination even though our parents’ house has changed ownership. Perhaps certain corners of the city where we migrated to study have certain memories that we want to revisit or avoid. In other words, it is the same place people interpret it differently. In our experience in Indonesia, some quite complicated spatial events occur in transmigration areas. In Bali Agung Village there is a significant difference between the administrative geographical markings and the nuances of life within them. Most of the residents of Bali Agung Village have transmigrated from areas affected by the eruption of Mount Agung in Karangasem Regency, Bali. They build life and living space as it was in the previous place, because they have a strong attachment to their “place of origin” or their homeland.

Based on the above reflection, the Billowing Sails as part of Road to IDF’s 30th anniversary edition takes up the theme “Body and Rasa in Terra Incognita” as a shared space for the IDF team and choreographers to uncover and share various terra incognita. It is envisaged that the choreographers of Billowing Sails: Body and Rasa in Terra Incognita will draw and exchange alternative maps drawn through a variety of perspectives, sense experiences, and bodies. The stitching of various terra incognita maps is expected to be a new map for a shared living space that is optimistic and full of respect for the diversity of body experiences over space.

  • 28 August 2022 | 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

    An online public discussion for choreographers involved in Indonesian Dance Festival's program, Layar Terkembang 2022 Body and Rasa in Terra Incognita. Thirteen choreographers and 2 curators will share their artistic processes in relation to the curatorial theme.

  • 28 August 2022 | 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

    Dermaga Bincang Tari is a critical choreography dialog platform that invites multidisciplinary artists and researchers that focus on body language, technology, and digital platforms, be it local or international.