As a series of events leading to the Indonesian Dance Festival (IDF) 2020, this program is a response to the pandemic that is currently re-choreographing all aspects of our lives.The program tries to reflect our experiences and the ways we treat the body, interact with each other, survive, and become dependent on communication technology.

Art is forced to look for alternatives, develop various innovations and strategies to survive. The limited space for movement is clearly a challenge not only for artists, but also for other practitioners such as curators, producers, art space managers, and other art stakeholders. Various possibilities are now being explored to find the most suitable forms, media, approaches and methods for artistic work.Observing the dynamics of changing patterns of artistic practice during the pandemic, the online or virtual media seems to be the easiest choice to be taken. 

Is dance ready to face all these shifts? Where is the position of the body at the intersection of two universes, physical and virtual? Is the history of dance as the main source of knowledge of the body and the body itself entering a new historical stage?What kind of history will it be? The Road to Dance and Humanity program tries to explore these questions.


Dance Talks is an attempt to investigate the important role of dance as a source of knowledge. Dance has shown us the links between the body and the dynamics of culture, historical context, economy, and global discourse. In addition to building shared optimism, reviving our power, and building strength in dealing with some issues caused by the pandemic, this agenda serves to remap the various sources of dance power to help us project alternative strategies in preparing for the post-pandemic future of Indonesian dance.

With the format of body archive presentation and through digital media, two choreographers, Eko Supriyanto and Kadek Puspasari will present their respective artistic responses to the pandemic spatial situation that shelters their bodies.

It is an attempt to record and archive how the body negotiates with these conditions. This program is an archival presentation of the body of dance that is struggling in a global pandemic.


The series of cultural missions carried out by the Soekarno government during the early days of Indonesian independence to a number of countries, both affiliated with the West and East Bloc, indicate the important role of arts, especially dance, in the political agenda of cultural diplomacy. Looking at the wider map, the dynamics of Indonesian dance following the country’s independence cannot be separated from the situation of post-World War II global politics. Soekarno, with his concept of Indonesian nationalism and a “free and active” foreign policy, developed a dynamic cross-cultural interaction through a series of cultural missions to several nations in affiliation with the two Blocs. 

Long after that, Daisuke Muto, described the IDF in internationalism and global dynamics discourse in the 2010 IDF: Powering the Future program catalogue. Daisuke mentioned the emergence of the IDF, which was not long after the fall of the Soviet Union, as being in line with the fast movement of globalization, following the end of the Cold War between the world powers. The world has significantly changed in the last two decades. The dissolution of the world economy has revitalized the mobilization of people and goods, supported with the development of the internet and information technology. 

In today’s decentralized world, the social and cultural diversity in the jungle of plurality is exposed to us. Dance is no exception. Now we exchange information through emails and tell our friends to check out videos on Youtube. We can even invite dance companies from other countries. Those things are currently so common that it makes it hard for us to remember that nobody ever imagined this drastic development before 1992.

At the same time, the development of communication technology and changes in cultural strategy during Soeharto’s presidency had inspired the emergence of non-governmental arts agencies to take part in the Indonesian cultural diplomacy programs. Artists, non-governmental arts organizations, producers, curators, and art managers, serve as a dominant power to drive the development of Indonesian contemporary arts in the global art scene. They directly establish working relationships and are involved in various international dance events as the representations of Indonesian art.Such working network patterns are continuously reproduced today in various forms.

In this session we will discuss the position of Indonesian dance on the global map, as a means of diplomacy and cultural promotion. By observing history and today’s context, we will elaborate on changes in dance aesthetics, distribution of capital, structure of agency in the Indonesian dance landscape and their relationship to the global discourse scene. Collectively, we will once again examine the depth and breadth of our thinking in looking at the history of dance in order to build a critical awareness based on the collective memory and inherited dance aesthetics. 

Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Lindsay (Australia, Researcher)

Speakers: Jeannie Park (Indonesia, Executive Director of Padepokan Seni Bagong Kussudiardja (PSBK) and Sekar Putri Handayani (Indonesia, Independent Art Worker), Putu Fajar Arcana (Indonesia, Jurnalis, Budayawan)

Moderator: Linda Mayasari (Indonesia, the Director of Cemeti and Member of Curatorial Team of the IDF)

Date / Time : Monday, November 2, 2020 (4 pm – 6 pm (GMT +7))


Economy, in this context, is not limited to the monetary, but also includes the dynamics of non-capital flows occurring to fulfill all aspects of need in the setting of contemporary society. Production and consumption patterns have surpassed the fulfillment of practical use value, and operate in the realm of symbolic value. In other words, a commodity is produced and consumed no longer for the sake of its usage, but the images and messages that envelop it. In the next development of the market, products serve as objects from which the functions and meanings are snatched away and replaced by various new images, becoming a tool to express certain identities that can only be attained by buying and consuming.Products are made not to meet the needs, but make the needs. Meanwhile, consumption is no longer driven by the logic of need, but the logic of desire. 

In the landscape of Indonesian society that is located in the intersection between traditional and capitalist economies, sign and symbolic values are intertwined between the needs to fulfill spiritual and market demands. Traditional dance is the best example. Historically, dance in Indonesia had a close relationship with traditional customs that worked in exoteric and transcendental reasonings in the unity of a traditional economic system.Let’s take a look at agrarian society. The changes in agrarian management as a result of the coming of new religious elements and industrial developments pushed aside some forms of arts that previously lived there.

We have seen that today, how traditional dance gets its new ecosystem in the market. Like it or not, dance then negotiates with the market to become a new ecosystem and changes from a spiritual rite to a commodity. Dancers have been looking for potentials, from the classic canon, populist, modernist, and contemporary movements outside the artistic repertoire of the stage to be developed into many forms of value offered to the public. Therefore, the market of dance not only exists in the scope of performance, but penetrates into various forms of transactional spaces. 

This session will discuss the position of arts, especially dance, in the Indonesian economic landscape. Furthermore, the various forms of products and needs that have emerged from dance practice will be revisited to observe the logic of the economics of dance that works in the intersection of traditional and modern society, as well as their relation with the broader economic dynamics. 

Keynote Speaker: Martin Suryajaya (Indonesia, philosophy writer and arts critics)

Speakers: Diane Butler (USA, Program Director), Melina Surja Dewi (Indonesia, IDF initiators), and Saras Dewi (Indonesia, activist and lecturer)

Moderator: Berto Tukan (Indonesia, writer and researcher)

Date/Time: Thursday, November 4, 2020 (7:30 – 9:30 pm (GMT+7)