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For this choreography Aafke was inspired by the ‘rites de passage’ that are commonly practiced on the Indonesian island of Bali. A child on its way to adulthood goes through many stages. In Balinese culture these are thoroughly marked by many elaborate ceremonies. 

It is only after 210 days that a newborn child on Bali for the first time touches the ground (this is called the Nyabutan ceremony). This marks the stage that it leaves the divine world and enters that of human beings. In the period preceding this ceremony its family members lovingly carried the child. Once on the ground and through the following years it slowly starts to realize that sometimes it has to leave old and familiar paths in order to take new steps that will lead you to a new and fresh place.


In Jatuh Bisu / Falling in Silence the eponymous poem of Balinese writer I Ketut Yuliarsa is being unravelled when one of the dancers is being carried through the air. Actor Dion Vincken has a two-sided character during this performance. Not only does he read the poem of Yuliarsa, but also he observes the developments of the performance while sitting at the edge of the stage. The role of the outsider is an often-returning element in the work of De Jong.

For this piece Aafke collaborated with composer Sinta Wullur (born in Indonesia, but living in The Netherlands for over 25 years), who wrote the piece 'Baliade' for her chromatic gamelan ensemble Multifoon and string orchestra.



 with dance, live gamelan, 

 string orchestra and poetry  


Jatuh Bisu

daun kering gugur

Hembusan angin


Ringan sekali

Tunggu dan dengar

Tapi jangan terperosok

Di kedalaman

Diam kedamaian.

Falling in silence

a dry leaf falls

A breathe of wind

Holding it's sway

Ever so slightly

Wait and listen

But do not stumble

Into the depths

of serenity.

poem by Ketut Yuliarsa

Jatuh Bisu / Falling in Silence was performed in the presence of princess Máxima (now queen of The Netherlands) for the opening of Kosmopolis / House

of Cultures (2006) in the World Museum Rotterdam

and for the opening of the World Music and Dance

Centre Rotterdam (2006).

Concept & choreography Aafke de Jong

Composition Sinta Wullur  

Musicians chromatic gamelan ensemble Multifoon & Doelen Kwartet/Zephyr Kwartet

Dancers students of Codarts & Aafke de Jong

Actor/voice Dion Vincken 

Poem I Ketut Yuliarsa  

Costumes dancers and actor Aafke de Jong

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