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Past Event

Virtual Saturday University: Exploring Resilience in Dance in Java, Indonesia

Mar 6 2021

Seattle Asian Art Museum


10 AM – 11:30 AM

How has art and creative activity contributed to confronting crises in Asia? While we face the current pandemic, along with deep social, political, and economic challenges, perhaps we can take heart in artists’ creative responses to violent conflict, environmental change, and panic. Five talks look into understanding, recovery, and reform in Japan, China, Armenia, Bangladesh, and Java, Indonesia.

This program is currently offered as a $5 suggested donation, to keep it accessible for all. Normally, tickets are $7 for SAM members, $12 for public. Donate today to support museum programming.

Exploring Resilience in Dance in Java, Indonesia
Rachmi Diyah Larasati with Christina Sunardi

In this two-way interview, Indonesian dancer and dance scholar Rachmi Diyah Larasati and American ethnomusicologist Christina Sunardi discuss the impact of the political genocide in Indonesia in 1965-66 on dance performance in Java. They will explore how experience and memory—both individual and social—influence bodily responses. As they trace the violent events of 1965-66 and focus on resilience, they discuss ways dance forms were altered in a post-1965 context to reinforce the new authoritarian government’s ideologies, and ways dancers resisted and maintained older practices, sometimes in hidden or altered forms, using their bodies as sites and holders of memory. .

About the Presenters

Rachmi Diyah Larasati is an associate professor of transnationalism and aesthetic politics in the Department of Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota. Her book, The Dance that Makes You Vanish: Cultural Reconstruction in Post-Genocide Indonesia (University of Minnesota Press, 2013) theorized global corporeal commodification through genocide. She has published articles focusing on decolonialization and feminist third world tactics of transnationalism. Her new book project, Dancing in the Forest: Modern Machine and Audio Politics of Land Narrative, interrogates the aesthetic encounter between indigenous voices and capitalist noise.

Christina Sunardi is an associate professor in the Ethnomusicology program in the School of Music at the University of Washington. Her interests include performance, identity, spirituality and ethnography in Indonesia. Her work focuses on the articulation of gender through music, dance, and theater in the cultural region of east Java. Dr. Sunardi has been studying and performing Javanese arts since 1997 in Indonesia and the United States.



Fire and Renewal in Edo Period Japan


Big Writing and the End of the Law


The Missing Pages, from Genocide to Justice


Jomin o Joban, a Tale of the Land


Exploring Resilience in Dance in Java, Indonesia

Photo: Christina Sunardi

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

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