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 Munich (München)/Germany 2017 

For choreographer Aafke de Jong the overlap and/or contradictions between a western and Indonesian approach to dance as well as socio-cultural elements often form a source of inspiration for her work.


This is one of the reasons that De Jong and composer Iwan Gunawan (Bandung, Indonesia) were invited by the City of Munich to stay at International Artist Residence Villa Waldberta (München, Germany) (see also This as a prelude for the Internationales Gamelan Musikfestival München organised by the Münchner Stadtmuseum in June 2018.

During his stay at Villa Waldberta Gunawan, as a master in West-Javanese music and being a contemporary composer, did some research on the topic of gong-patterns in Balinese gamelan music and also the different tuning systems. A question that fascinates Aafke is: 'How could the resonance of gong-like instruments be integrated in the movements of the dancers?'

Auditions were held in search for dancers. This in collaboration with Iwanson International School of Contemporary Dance, for which we are very grateful. 

During the auditions participants joined a workshop in traditional Balinese dance, guided by Aafke de Jong and musically accompanied by Balinese musician and composer Made Arnawa (also a resident of Villa Waldberta at the time) and musician, ethomusicologist and head of Music Department of Münchner Stadtmuseum, Andras Varsanyi

After the workshop participants were asked to implement some elements from Balinese dance into a contemporary dance phrase out of one of Aafke's previous pieces.

Audition Iwanson Munchen 2017 - Gong Gun
Schermafbeelding 2019-07-20 om 12.05.15.
Schermafbeelding 2019-07-20 om 12.10.36.

Lecture at Iwanson School of Contemporary Dance in Munich and presentation at the Munchner Stadtmuseum

Audition for GONG at Iwanson School of Contemporary Dance in Munich, Germany

During the symposium at the Internationales Gamelan Musikfestival München both Gunawan and De Jong gave a presentation about their work.

The preparations during the residency were a prelude to a new piece named GONG (musical composition: Iwan Gunawan, choreography: Aafke de Jong).

Click here to read and see more about this project

iwan gunawan - aafke de jong -muenchner stadtmuseum-villa waldberta 2017-14.jpg

Aafke also gave a lecture for the students of Iwanson School of Contemporary Dance about Balinese dance and how she uses this as a source of inspiration for her own work.

"When we (artists from Indonesian and Dutch backgrounds) work together it is not even necessary to talk directly about our shared history (when we feel like it we do so anyway), because we understand each other on a different level.

It is through our art that we can communicate and strive towards a more open and inclusive future in general."

- Aafke during a lecture at Iwanson School of Contemporary Dance in München, Germany 2017

Below: Villa Waldberta - Feldafing - Munchen (March/April 2017)

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