Handa Noh Theatre, Royal Holloway University of London


The Centre for Asian Theatre and Dance invites you to Not Just a Collaboration (Bukan Sekedar Kolaborasi), a devised ensemble performance featuring performers from Indonesia, India, Singapore, Japan the UK and US at the Handa Noh Theatre on 25 May at 7pm.

This Practice-as-Research performance, which includes Sundanese gamelan, Sundanese dance, Sundanese wayang golek puppetry, Cirebonese wayang kulit puppetry, Cirebonese masks, Japanese song, Finnish lute music, Singaporean-Malay dance, Indian folk drama and contemporary dance and experimental theatre, investigates differences and commonalities in notions of collaboration across different artistic cultures, languages, and media of expression. Interweaving open discussions with performer-generated exercises, musical and choreographic improvisations and dramatic fragments, we aim to fashion a cross-arts platform for dialogue through the arts that recognizes difficulties in translation, embedded power structures, fixed gender roles and cultural stereotyping, while at the same time allowing possibilities for slippage, transformation and hybridity.

Not Just a Collaboration is presented with the generous support of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, who have funded a month-long residency of our visiting artists musician/puppeteer Dr Lili Suparli and dancer/musician Pa Achmad Farmis, representing the arts conservatoire ISBI Bandung. It is the second collaborative performance with ISBI Bandung of the academic year 2016-2017, following up a successful week-long residency of 8 musicians and dancers in October-November 2016 which resulted in a series of performances, workshops and discussions in Egham and a wayang kulit (shadow puppet theatre) performance at the British Museum.

Others featured in Not Just a Collaboration are dancer/choreographer Soultari Amin Farid (MPhil/PhD student in Drama, Theatre and Dance), actor Satkirti Sinha (MA by Research student in Drama), musician Tomoko Hata (MA student in Music), movement artist Sally Dean (MPhil/PhD student in Drama, Theatre & Dance), puppeteer/dramaturg Matthew Isaac Cohen (Professor of International Theatre) and gamelan musician Robert Campion.

The performance will be discussed by the collaborators in a roundtable at the academic symposium at the Centre on 30 May, Asian Performing Arts: Collaboration and Exchange. This will feature a keynote by Professor Keith Howard (Department of Music, SOAS), with papers from Rowan McLelland, Amin Farid, Tomoko Hata, Hannah Marsden, Ye Teng, Dr Rossella Ferrari, Dr Laura MacDonald and Dr How Wee Ng; lecture-demonstrations from Walid Ali, Sally Dean, Dr Carmencita Palermo and Blooming Ludus (Francine Dulong and Haeweon Yi); and another roundtable with Yana Zarifi, Dr Margaret Coldiron and Dr Manuel Jimenez. Further information on the symposium is available from