Taking place from 17 to 18 January at Teater Jakarta, Garin Nughroho’s Planet-Sebuah Lament links the cost of human greed to natural damage, presented in theatrical performance. Photo courtesy of Garin Workshop/NOW!JAKARTA

After successfully seizing eight awards at Indonesia Film Festival 2019 through the movie Memories of My Body, Indonesian director Garin Nugroho will showcase his latest directorial of original contemporary performance, Planet – Sebuah Lament (Planet – A Lament) on 17 and 18 January 2020 at Teater Jakarta, Taman Ismail Marzuki. Known for his sociopolitical and multiculturalism approach, the 58 years old director and playwright raises the issue of environmental awakening.

The recent work is inspired by Easter celebration in Larantuka, East Nusa Tenggara, where the native performs lamentations during the procession. Narrated the story of a lone man and an egg, the playwright brings the face of destruction caused by human greed. It’s a mourning expression of human nature, portraying a ruined civilisation in the search of food and energy. Set in the tragedy of Tsunami, Lament is a live illustration of the revival, grief, and hope, noting the journey of penance to find the balance to nature.

“Natural disaster has been a global discussion and proof of environmental destruction. We enter the world that makes us a monster. Food security and sustainable energy are expected to be prominently discussed in 2020. A lament is a form of prayer to addresses these issues that bring us back to the sense of hope, balance and humanity,” Nugroho said after rehearsal at Salihara, South Jakarta.

It took 2.5 years for Lament to be ready to be premiered in front of Indonesian audience. It’s been on Nughroho’s mind in the last seven years and he felt that 2020 is the right time to show it to the public as the global climate strike has been rising in the last few years.

In the special contemporary performance, Garin Nugroho further explores the Melanesian culture and indigenous traits through body of work and music, especially the people of East Nusa Tenggara and Papua. Otniel Tasman, Boogie Papeda and Joy Alpuerto Ritter team up as collective choreographers who direct the tableau performance and contemporary motions which expect to invite the audience to dive into the character being that impersonate the metaphorical relationship between humans and nature.

The musical number arranged by three young composers, namely Septina Layan, Taufik Adam and Nursalim Yadi Anugerah will be the intrinsic instruction to build a dynamic atmosphere in the tableau drama performed by Boogie Papeda himself, Douglas D’Krumpers, Papuan native Pricillia EM Rumbiak and Bekham Dwaa, as well as Jakarta based artist Galaby Thahira. Rianto, a prolific figure whose personal life inspired the production of the award-winning movie Memories of My Body will also appear on the stage during a two-day show.

Kupang-based choir Mazmur Chorale Choir will perform a piece of pentatonic music from Flores to beguile the dramaturgy from the actor and dancer. The Australian scenographer Anna Tregloan who is also acting as a costume designer working closely with the director to explore the Eastern Indonesian indigenous costume.

“It’s also a showcase to the culture of that region which is rarely seen or heard in the media. Nusa Tenggara and Papua is incredibly diverse in history, art and culture,” Nugroho said.

Produced under the Garin Workshop, Planet – Sebuah Lament is supported by Bakti Budaya Djarum Foundation, Art Centre Melbourne and Asia TOPA (Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts). Planet – Sebuah Lament is also scheduled for the opening act of Asia TOPA next month in Melbourne, following the international tour in Germany and Netherlands.

Rintang Azhar

Rintang Azhar

Rintang is a previous staff writer for NOW! with experience in hard news and lifestyle journalism. He specialises in art, design, culture, fashion, environmental, and urban issues.