Suara Pembaruan  |  28 September 2002

Light and Darkness

The dancers Esther Natzijl and Teck Voon Ng played were performing dance number “Luminescent Twilight” by Gerard Mosterd in general rehearsal at Gedung Kesenian Jakarta, Friday (27 / 9). This dance illustrated the combination of Western and Eastern elements, light and darkness.

EAST and West are often disputed. The dichotomy is even more pointed if it touches the realm of politics. But in the hands of choreographer Gerard Mosterd, East-West tensions just melt. Check his choreography titled Luminescent Twilight. This contemporary dance is performed at Gedung Kesenian Jakarta on 28-29 September 2002 at 20.00 pm.

Luminescent Twilight [Foto: PEMBARUAN Alex Suban]

Luminescent Twilight was talking about the two conflicting elements. According to Mosterd, the choreography was inspired by his identity which is a fusion between East and West. So, this scene became a kind of autobiography of his life. Mosterd’s father is a Dutch, and mother is an Indonesian. It is where he picked up the theme of the dance.

The man who graduated from the Royal Conservatory did not want to give special meaning to his work. “I want to liberate viewers to imagine themselves. It’s up to them how my work be interpreted. Is like, I do not want to feed them, and they only eat and swallow it. I am more incline to serve a variety of foods, and let them decide what is appropriate to their imaginations and minds,” Mosterd explained.

Mosterd admitted, his work was inspired by his personal experience. He wanted to show the differences and frictions, which are existed between these two cultures. Mosterd tried to describe through the symbolization of motion and lighting effects. Mosterd explored the composition of dark and light to the stage. The two dancers also performed different movements on stage. Only one moment of configuration, it was when an old keroncong music become its musical accompaniment. Movements that appeared in this piece were also the results of combination between ballet, modern dance and Indonesian traditional dance.

“There maybe equate my work with the social condition or political situation in Indonesia recently. Whatever course. If there are similarities, I let the audience to interpret according to their knowledge and imagination,” he added.


Luminescent Twilight performed by a pair of dancers, a woman and a man. By Mosterd both are used as symbols as representatives of East and West. No particular reason behind the selection of different sexes. “Just because my father and my mother are a man a woman.” Mosterd explained.

Unlike the identity of the father-mother, for the characterization of these two dancers. Mosterd even reversed both character. Female dancer symbolized the West, while the male dancer is a symbol of the East. It suited with the stereotypes of East-West, the female dancer moved so active and dynamic, while the man even danced gracefully like a Srimpi dancer.

“I deliberately reversed my dancers characterizations. We never know what is called the West or East. Sometimes they look the same, they can be far different or even upside down with what they called in the community. I think, everything is relative, depending on the framework our thinking, “said the man who was born in Amersfoort.

The dancers themselves also came from two different cultures. The male dancer Teck Von Ng is from Malaysia, while the female dancer Esther Natzijl is from Netherlands. In this performance, both dressed in costumes as simple as possible. Von Ng and  Natzijl was wearing only a white shirt and black pants. According to Mosterd, it was deliberately done, because he wanted to highlight the movements and the conflicts in his work. Details such as clothing or makeup deliberately avoided.

The performance of Luminescent Twilight was one of agenda in the tour series of Gerard Mosterd in Indonesia. Besides Jakarta, Mosterd will also perform this work in Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surakarta and Denpasar. According to the plan, he is not only perform the work alone, but also do workshops at several art schools in those cities. This tour will end in Bali on 20 October.  (ID/U-5)

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