This is Mariska's, a ballet teacher from Jakarta and Belinda's, a ballet lover and buyer based in Sydney, first time in the UK. They are 2 out of 5 founders of Ballet.id, an organsiation that wants to develop ballet and dance in Indonesia. They started their organisation because they feel that Indonesia has a lot of potential talents in dance, but there is very limited opportunity for these talents to be developed and showcased.
They came to the UK to participate in UNLIMITED Festival in Glasgow, an international programme of performance, visual art, discussions and more celebrating extraordinary work by disabled artists. I spoke to them to find out what they thought of their first time experiencing brilliant work by disabled artists.
What did you expect before coming to Glasgow?
Belinda: We expected to see good quality international work by disabled artists.
Mariska: When we heard about the festival we thought that we will be presented by a certain standard of work, we came also wanting to know what the standard is like and where will it be.
Was your expectation fulfiled?
Mariska: Yes, it is just as we expected
Belinda: But we didn't stop there, we actually thought of what parts of these are possible to be brought back to Indonesia?
Mariska: Yes, so not only whether it is or not relevant to the Indonesian audience, but also to the sense of what in the UK might be basic provision, like good accessibility for the artists and their work, might not be available in Indonesia.
From the seven performances you saw which one do you like the most and why?
Mariska: MayBe by Marc Brew. I think it is because I prefer pure dance work. The quality of work was beautiful, the combination between the use of multimedia, live music and the performance is just great quality. Seeing work using these combination is really new for me, it is just amazing and very beautiful.
Belinda: For me, it is Him by Sheila Hill. The story might sound boring, about daily life of someone who is old, but this work is packaged in a certain way that made it excellent. The combination of his narration, the way he told the story, and the dialogues he had with film and live music make the work cool.
Mariska: Another thing that I love about the performances is that it is possible for everyone to enjoy them. WIth the provision of sign language, hearing aids, access for wheelchair and the like, making them trully accessible.
From the discussions, conversations and talk that you had with people, what stuck with you the most?
I think it is our conversation with Sokny from Cambodia. When she spoke about Epic art,
where she works. They believe that art is for everyone, really inspired us. Because their situation in Cambodia is similar with Indonesia and very relevant to how people view disability. Epic Art's strives to make high quality work, so that people don't look at performances or work and feel 'sorry' because they are disabled, but the quality speaks for itselfs and see the work and think 'this is good'. I think Epic Art managed to do this really well.
If there is one thing that could improve your experience at UNLIMITED better what would that be?
Belinda: to be able to watch Candoco's work, they are going to perform it next week when we are on our way back to Indonesia. We really wanted to watch this performance.
Mariska: Oh and it would be great if we could find out and talk about the process of how work is produced, the struggles in developing them from idea stage until they are performed. We see work that is completed, but the process is as important to us. IF only this conversation exists it would be really good for us to learn.
These are the seven performances Belinda and Mariska watched:
- Hiraeth karya kolaborasi antara NCA Small theatre and Making the Right Moves - A dance performance to tell the story of the painful, yet remarkable journey of the Armenian people history, lost home land and their efforts to regain identity in a new country
- 43 percent oleh 21st Century Challenges - This is a dynamic multimedia work by Gary Gardiner dan Ian Johnston, which explores the medical and social definitions of being human
- The Way You Look (at me) Tonight oleh Claire Cunningham dan Jess Curtis - A dance, a song , a story a social scuplture, of play, of fight and of journeys questioning how we perceieve each other.
- Grandad and the Machine oleh Jack Dean - A storytelling performance about a hundred-year- old mechanical monster emerging from the waves.
- HIm oleh Sheila Hill - This show reflects on life at 80, what it means of being old.
- MayBe oleh Marc Brew Company - An international co-creation between Natalia Mallo, Gisele Calazan from Brazil dan Marc Brew who is based in Glasgow. MayBe explores how chance encounters can cact as catalysts of possibiilities of Love and intimacy.
- Assisted Suicide : The Musical oleh Liz Carr - Disabled activist, actor and comedian Liz Carr has chosend the spectacular world of musical theatre as the backdrop to exploring the complex and controversial subject of assisted suicide in this show.