Salt @ Odeon Theatre, Norwood, Adelaide 31/10/2018

I love attending shows as part of the OzAsia Festival which has been going on in Adelaide since 2007 and like Womadelaide it is wonderful to see other acts from around the world in our city.

Salt is a one-man modern dance show performed by Eko Supriyanto from Indonesia. Eco performed a show as part of the 2015 OzAsia show when the focus that year was Indonesia.

Eko Supriyanto was enlisted as a dance consultant for Julie Taymor’s The Lion King Broadway production and was a featured dancer in Madonna’s 2001 Drowned World Tour. He is the founder and artistic director for EkosDance Company and Solo Dance Studio in Surakarta Indonesia, and is the leading Indonesian dancer and choreographer of his generation and trained in Javanese court dances and the Indonesian martial arts of Pencak Silat since he was the age of seven.

It was great to see a packed crowd see this show at the recently renovated Odeon Theatre in Norwood.

The show had three sections and in the first section Eko was nude and slowly backed his way to us and started to move in time with the discordant strings of the brilliant recorded score from Dimawan Krisnowo Adji. Eko was like a ghost emerging out of the darkness and he was mostly obscured for this section due to the low lighting on him as well as light reflecting onto a giant silver sash that was lying in front of the first row.

In the next section, Eko put on a white transparent skirt and started interacting with a mound of salt in the middle of the expansive stage. Eco commenced dancing more assuredly and at the same time spreading out the salt with wonderful dance moves. The dream-like score slowly morphed and was sometimes discordant string instruments and then sometimes quite melodic traditional Asian instruments and then later it was both discordant and melodic at the same time. Eco seemed to be using his skirt as a fishing net for this section as his controlled dance moves were getting faster.

In the final section, Eko commenced dancing in the salt and spreading his footprints all over the stage. To me, this represented the tilling of the soil. The music and his performance were becoming more frantic as the performance went on and his movements were quite joyful at the end. In an online interview with Eko, he stated that for this show he wanted to get away from his comfort zone. He also wanted to connect with the ocean farmers in the town of Jailolo on a northern Island in Indonesia. He was looking at the agricultural and maritime culture of these people and connecting with them.

At the end of the show, Eko came out for two curtain calls due to the rapturous applause from the Adelaide crowd.

OzAsia Review by Richard De Pizzol

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