DANCE TOGETHER INDONESIA 2015 August 24 – Sept. 4, 2015


Together with my Evolve Dance colleague, Annie Tucker, I completed a 2-week residency teaching 20 creative dance workshops for approximately 140 participants from 7 local NGOs and community organizations.  Working in close partnership with these organizations, we designed site-specific workshops with distinct exploratory focus.   Students were guided through a series of specific movement explorations and challenges with the aim of expanding movement vocabulary and allowing opportunities to think/move in new ways.   Whole group dances were free group improvisations, with or without specified themes.

Collaborating Organizations and Program Details

Sekolah Autis Bina Anggita, a private school for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder with the mission “to serve with empathy.” A leader in the field of autism education in Yogyakarta and Indonesia, Bina Anggita provides integrated educational and therapeutic services for students from pre-K through high school.  We taught a 3-day workshop series with thematic progression for 30 participants (15 students ages, 15 faculty members).  Workshop focus:  Body Awareness, Mirroring, Generating Movement, Sound and Movement, Dancing Together.

Yogyakarta Institute for the Arts, founded in 1984, is the largest arts institute in Indonesia with programs in visual performing and media arts in traditional Indonesian and modern international styles.  We conducted a 3-hour workshop, beginning with an introductory presentation of “Barbara Mettler: In her Own Words,” followed by a 2-hour dance workshop exploring the basic principles of Mettler-based creative dance.  Workshop focus:  General Introduction to Mettler-based creative dance improvisation.

Balance Yoga Studio hosted two 2-hour workshops for their staff and the general public. Workshop focus:  General Introduction to creative dance improvisation.

One Billion Rising Yogykarta, part of the global initiative to bring awareness of gender-based violence with deep connections to local non-profit community organizations, hosted a series of workshops:

  • Yasanti, an advocacy NGO established in 1982 for women workers. We conducted a 2-hour workshop for Yasanti staff, counsellors and psychologists.  Workshop focus: Self-expression, leadership, creative thinking, decision-making, group dynamics.
  • PLU Satu Hati (People Like Us), an advocacy support group for the LGBT community.  We conducted two 2-hour workshops for PLU staff, volunteers and community members.  Workshop focus: Self-expression, leadership, creative thinking, decision-making, group dynamics.
  • Domestic Workers Network, a community support organization for domestic workers. We conducted a 2-hour introductory workshop.  Workshop focus:  Self-expression, leadership, creative thinking, decision-making, group dynamics.
  • Women Workers at Giwangan Market, a community support organization of traditional women market porters who transport goods manually throughout the marketplace.  We conducted a 2-hour introductory workshop.  Workshop focus: Self-expression, leadership, creative thinking, decision-making, group dynamics.
  • One Billion Rising Yogyakarta.  We conducted three 2-hour workshops for participants interested in deeper explorations of creative dance improvisation. Workshop I focus:  General Introduction to creative dance and group improvisation; Workshop II focus: Exploration of Relationship -with ourselves (our body in space), with others, with the environment.  Awareness of space and our individual interaction with it, with each other, with the group. Workshop III focus:  The dramatic and emotional quality of dance.

This residency was designed to introduce creative dance improvisation to local community organizations and to explore the potential application of creative dance improvisation as a complement to existing programs.  After each workshop, we discussed ways the lessons can be adapted or adjusted to fit the needs of individual organizations.   To encourage program sustainability, my collaboration with Mettler Studios Inc. provided distance mentoring or assistance with attending the annual Mettler Studios Creative Dance Teacher Training workshop in Tucson, AZ.

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