About The Show

Javanese l'Histoire du Soldat

Next year it is exactly one hundred years ago that the world-famous Russian composer Igor Stravinsky l'Histoire du Soldat performed for the first time. Since the primal performance followed by many international versions of known storytellers and ensembles. Jean Cocteau, Peter Ustinov, etc. In 2011 created a choreographer and director Gerard Mosterd commissioned by the Dutch Chamber Music Company a first Indonesian version. On March 16 this upcoming experience "Javanese l'Histoire du Soldat" its Dutch premiere at the Royal Theatre in The Hague, which follows a national tour.

Stravinsky created l'Histoire du Soldat in 1918 just after World War I, during the Great Depression. The original story of a war treat recurrent, poor soldier who sometimes plays his old violin. The devil is in its path and close a deal. The violin is exchanged for a book that you can be rich. The soldier is instantly very wealthy, but realizes that he has sold his soul to the devil. He yearns for a time when everything that he had loved was still within reach. Now he is rich but lonely and alienated from all his loved ones. Watch absurd adventures and endings.

Under great financial pressure this production was made to the Swiss Lake Geneva. Together with writer Ferdinand Ramuz, Stravinsky conceived this itinerant music game while the world was in chaos by being swept revolutions and wars. It was carried out with limited resources and a small ensemble consisting of unemployed musicians and mime. The result was a totally new form of theater. The work is an indictment against the corrupting power of money and marked the beginning of a series of socio-politically inspired music theater. Composers and performers Hanns Eisler, Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht followed this new direction and there were familiar with.

Stravinsky conceived the work with the visionary idea that it should be performed anywhere in the world using the local cultural context. For example, there are many different ethnic versions. Inuit, African, South American, etc. And so the first Indonesian version since 2011.

Gerard questioned in 2011 whether the task could be realized to a Stravinsky piece with Javanese dancers. The usually slow movement style on slow, central Javanese gamelan music did not suspect that there could also be working with complex, explosive dynamics and Stravinsky. This combination turned out a great surprise and took three years for sold out tours and performances. One factor also plays Gerard's choice to work with celebrated charismatic Indonesian performers. The first lineup consisted of star dancers Eko Supriyanto, Martinus Miroto, Sri Jamaluddin Qadariatin and Latief. With them and a complete Javanese ensemble has also opened the prestigious Indonesian Dance Festival in 2012, in the presence of the Governor of Jakarta and a thousand crowd.

Following these successes Gerard asked lyricist Goenawan Mohamad write an actual text within a Java context. The old text of Ramuz would have to be replaced. Goenawan Mohamad, international prices winner, doyen of contemporary Indonesian literature, political activist, critic and art connoisseur accepted this challenge. Gerard Mosterd and Goenawan Mohamad had previously worked successfully on a dance theater production on freedom of expression for late Farido Oetoyo and its Sumber Cipta dance company in Gedung Kesenian (formerly Batavian Theatre). That production was inspired by a then current case about a man from the faithful Padang convicted was because he came out on social media for his atheistic beliefs. It was Farida Oetoyo, Indonesian Sonia Gaskell, Gerard Mosterd introduced in 2000 to join the Indonesian public by him as director of the national Stadstheater to come and play there regularly.

After the premiere in 2012, a second version of l'Histoire du Soldat with Indonesian text Goenawan Mohamad in Yogyakarta, followed two try outs in the Netherlands, one of which was the last performance of the now defunct Tropentheater. Actor Rudy Wowor as narrator was the brand new Dutch translation by Monique Soesman projected on a screen. While this tryout was positively received showed that this projection only worked for those Indonesian language are powerful. The text was necessary adjustment to the Dutch audience and therefore followed a reworking by actor-director-writer Bo Tarenskeen. Now there is therefore finally a complete English edition spoken by Wieteke van Dort. Literary given also the very first text translation into Dutch of Goenawan Mohamads work. Strange that his work has not been previously translated into Dutch been. The works of his younger proteges Laksmi Pamuntjak and Ayu Utami example though.

Wieteke of Dort plays the role of narrator. Do not expect aunt Lien, but a joking Wieteke who loses himself in a kind of fairy-tale world with Goenawan Mohamad's latest, funny and profound words. In her role is room for stand-up comedy, something it is not strange. After 46 years Wieteke is back on the scene. Wieteke "Now it can again. I used to work consciously in radio and television since the evening I wanted to be with the children. The children are grown. "In preparation she likes to help on all fronts. "I can as an actress well open up and let me lead and directing. I prepared myself for many people to talk with and listen to the music. "She is looking forward to touring with all the players and is happy that she was asked by Gerard Mosterd to join. They knew each other personally since they both independently, regularly performed at the old Pasar Malam Besar.

Gerard grew up with "The Road Connection Sea Show". Wieteke was his childhood hero. "I thought she was very funny. As Aart Pigtails and Joost Prinsen. Genius. I also understood that they were outcasts from an elite performing arts climate. It also pleased me particularly because I recognize now in the Netherlands. The "great artists" who rise above society and form a closed cartel. It can sometimes here are a petty little country. What Wieteke, Aart and Joost did was of a highly creative and timely content, while it was also stunning and bold simplicity. They made fun of the established order. Lovely. Something Stravinsky intended to l'Histoire du Soldat. A performance for a wide audience of all ages that can be played anywhere. A connection of all levels, generations, cultures, art forms in a timeless yet contemporary context. But also: "Art" with a wink. Road worker and L'Histoire have in common that it is entertaining with modest means and without pretension. Not tons of subsidy so. "

In the show playing three famous Indonesian dancers. Siko Setyanto from Solo, branded in their own country as the best modern dancer Indonesia because he can move around impressively, free and expressive outside the traditional idiom. He will be seen for the first time on the Dutch stages are. A disciple of respected dance masters Ibu Wied Sendayani and Farida Oetoyo. Rury Avianti is a gifted dancer with humor from the Mangkoenegaran Kraton of Solo. This is a rare combination because the ritual Serimpi Bedhoyo and dances are so serious that humor can have no place. The petite Hendro Yuliyanto comes from Banjoe Mas where the "Lengger", comes from a more sensual, erotic and comic folk dance.

Stravinsky's virtuosic, rhythmic inimitable music is played with enchanting melodies by the New European Ensemble. This young, good-looking ensemble is known for its challenging game quality and playful experimentation with visual theater. A few months ago, they have been rewarded for their artistic innovation and quality by the national fund with structural subsidy. In a number of performances tells French Leidelmeijer, known for Between Art and Kitsch, in an introduction to the historical and artistic perspectives of this production. Stravinsky's influence is rooted in the early 20th century with its radically innovative art movements and ideas. It is the time of the vibrant emergence of modernism. French favorite period. In making the presentation image, sound, text and movement sometimes a connection to this time.

Javanese l'Histoire du Soldat is loosely inspired by the moralistic tale from 1918. At that time the devil was still good and evil. Today the situation is more nuanced. A constant theme is the fact that money or power corrupts man. That makes this music might be a kind of farcical and minimalist "Lord of the Rings" but in a sleek, understated design.

Gerard Mosterd:

"After nearly twenty years to be continuously active in the Indonesian theater world I can say that the theater audience in Southeast Asia has a completely different taste than in our region. Precisely because catching is felt ignored cultural centuries after having been through a foreign power today there is still little receptivity to abstraction in the performing arts. And certainly not when it comes from the west. Contemporary and modern are concepts that have a different meaning in Indonesia here. There is in Indonesia traditionally her a strong sense of the narrative and the stilling, including historical perspectives. Virtuosity is quickly interpreted as a blank hard doenerij or ego-tripping. "

"It is striking that in recent decades the artistic reinterpretation is valued cultural identity. So deepen Southeast Asian performing artists in a strange tradition in order to distill their own language. Ballet dancer and choreographer Ramli Ibrahim later Odissi, the Moluccan B-Boy Jecko Siompo which reinterprets Papua, Gadjah Madah alumnus and Teater Garasi director Yudi Tahjudin are examples. This shows that there are sometimes more nuanced and freer thought about intercultural theater. In the Netherlands, sometimes it seems that you are required to have roots in an exotic tradition to be accepted as intercultural theater. Bizarre. The modernist wave led by figures such as Stravinsky at the time never reached Indonesia. Just a great artist as Stravinsky shows how to make the transition from ethnic-inspired artistic expression to new, current and quirky shapes. Stravinsky began his artistic development with the reinterpretation of Russian folklore "

Gerard Mosterd works since the fall of Suharto lengthy within the Southeast Asian and Indonesian performing arts. He developed a respectable status. About forty independent performances he has produced many of them full-length. Often productions that examine Eurasian axioms are central. Every year he makes on behalf of South-East Asian companies and institutes new ideas and he regularly tours under considerable interest by Southeast Asian theaters and festivals. He works closely with experienced theater and film makers including Boi G Sakti, Martinus Miroto, Teater Garasi, Eko Supriyanto, Didik Nini Thowok, Ramli Ibrahim, Sardono Kusumo, the late Farida Oetoyo and Garin Nugroho.