The Seen and Unseen’s Short Documentary

 

This February, the Indonesian and Australian creative team of dance-theatre production The Seen and Unseen had critically-acclaimed performances at the Asia TOPA in Melbourne, making a home for themselves at VCA’s Martyn Myer Arena, revelling in post-show compliments and patting kangaroos at the zoo. Weeks later, as Covid-19 rapidly unfurled across the planet, the team were locked down inside their homes and countries, with an uncertain touring future as borders and theatres closed across the world.

The new digital series Asia TOPA Connected gave these artists the opportunity to create a reflection on their theatre-making process and to share insights into their unique intercultural collaboration. The partnerships traverse rice paddies and rehearsal studios of Bali, the digital realm of Zoom creative team meetings, and theatre stages in Jakarta, Singapore and Melbourne. Making this short documentary extended their collaboration whilst in isolation, and enabled them to critically reflect on their own processes creating the show.

As a creator, I’ve always loved how the process of my work somehow became a discussion within myself, and also with my fellow creators. This documentary is all about this, what we felt inside, how we portray it in our work, and an endless discussion of creation within women.”

– Kamila Andini, Director

The documentary charts the shift in Andini’s storytelling medium from screen to stage as she and choreographer Ida Ayu  Wayan Satyani collaborated with Australian theatre makers Adena Jacobs, Eugyeene Teh and Jenny Hector. Much like parts of the creation of the theatre production itself, this documentary was created across two countries and languages, using Zoom meetings and WhatsApp messages, spurred on again by the collective excitement of sharing complex ideas with audiences, and opportunities to interrogate the knotty nature of collaborative art-making.

We premiered The Seen and Unseen in Melbourne in February, just before we found ourselves in this period of isolation. It now feels like a kind of dream. I love the fact that through the documentary, Kamila, Dayu and I continue to share a conversation about the piece and about art making – from our own homes and in different locations, but somehow in tandem with one another. It feels very true to the spirit of the work and its process.”

says Adena Jacobs, Dramaturg

The Seen and Unseen premiered at The Esplanade in Singapore and Salihara, Jakarta before being presented in Melbourne for Asia TOPA. An Offering – The World of The Seen and Unseen was commissioned by Asia TOPA, and produced by Fourcolours Films, 17A and Performing Lines.

An Offering – The World of The Seen and Unseen is available to watch here

A Performing Lines production.

A co-commission by Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay and Asia TOPA: Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts,and Arts Centre Melbourne with support from Komunitas Salihara.

This project is supported by the Department of Communication and the Arts with advice from the Australia Singapore Group, the Sidney Myer Fund, the Playking Foundation, and by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

 

 

 

 

 

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