Mark Freeman has been making movies for over three decades. This weekend, the award-winning documentarian, college professor, and all-around hometown film treasure unveils his latest work, Rasa Dari Tari/Soul of Dance at the San Diego Central Library.
Using the fabric of contemporary dance in Indonesia, Freeman’s cultural exchange approach concentrates on the threads that bind tradition with the future. Listen to Jecko Siompo and he’ll have you convinced that Papua is the birthplace of modern hip-hop.
The half-hour documentary features highlights from six dance works: Tom Ibnur’s Padusi, Sherly Novalinda’s Bodies of Malay, Garin Nugroho’s The Red Shawl (Selendang Merah), Jecko Siompo In Front of Papua, Yola Yulfianti’s Update Status, and Rianto’s Body Without a Brain.
Trailer: Rasa Dari Tari/The Soul of Dance
Four handsomely transcribed multimedia stage presentations are bookended by a pair of spectacular “site specific” solo numbers. Dancer Rizki Suharlin Putri writhes through Yola Yulfianti’s ritualistic performance piece using as her backdrop a vast, the Kalimantan rock quarry captured with vibrant precision through Freeman’s supple shallow-focus lens.
Were it not spelled out in the production notes, I would never have guessed Rianto’s physically demanding man-against-nature piece Body Without a Brain was a green metaphor for “anxiety as the natural world becomes ever more threatened.” Be that as it may, there’s much more to be learned watching Rianto’s trancelike performance than listening to his high-flown reasoning behind the endeavor.
The screening will be held at the San Diego Central Library this Saturday at 1 pm. Admission is free.