Jakarta. Institut Francais d'Indonésie in collaboration with Komunitas Salihara staged "Sprint," a contemporary dance choreographed by Emmanuelle Vo-Dinh, on Wednesday (07/08) and Thursday at Salihara in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta.
"Sprint" debuted in 2013, and was already performed in New York and Beijing.
Composed of eight different sets of quick steps, the dance explores body transformations and the continuous process of reinventing the self. The dancer, or rather the runner, many times faces exhaustion, which after several stages culminates in rebirth.
Vo-Dinh's long-time collaborator, Maeva Cunci, performed the 50-minute solo dance. In workout attire and running shoes, Cunci started by circling the whole stage in a proper jogging posture.
With minutes passing, her routes and pace would change.
The sound of the dancer's heels against the floor, coupled with the rhythm of her breath, served as the audio background. As fatigue slowly took over, the breath became dominant.
"The aim of the dance is to transfer the rhythm of the feet to the breath," Vo-Dinh told reporters after the preview on Wednesday.
Exhaustion was presented in graceful transitions. After her vigorous run, Cunci stood in the center, moving her upper body and legs in place, until she eventually collapsed. Regaining strength after crawling and dragging her body in circles, she stood up in the spotlight and sang a few notes before the lights went out.
"Sprint" may look like an organic, improvised piece, but every detail was planned and directed.
"She [Cunci] is very smart. She can remember everything. It is a big challenge to remember the big score. It may look like improvisation but it isn't," Vo-Dinh praised her dancer, with whom she started to collaborate 14 years ago.
Vo-Dinh, the artistic director of Le Phare, Centre Choregraphique National du Havre Haute-Normandie, derives inspiration from her personal life as well as neurology and psychiatry.
The veteran French choreographer said there is a reflective aspect of "Sprint." Since the pace of the dance builds up slowly, "the audience has to let it go unless they're waiting for something. It asks them to relax and think that something will happen. They need to take time and just let it go. It's actually like a mirror," said Vo-Dinh.
Vo-Dinh's other works include "Texture/Composite" (1999), based on two months' research with neurologist Antonio Damasio in Iowa City. Her most recent work is "Tombouctou Déjà Vu" (2015).
"Sprint" is part of Salihara's dance festival "Helatari." Further information about other performances is available on Salihara's website.