Nan Jombang Dance company
Founded 1983, Nan Jombang Dance has gained a considerable reputation within Indonesia and overseas.
Eri Mefri, the founder and choreographer of the dance company was born in Saningbakar, Solok, West Sumatra in 1958. Eri Mefri coreographed his first work in 1983, titled Nan Jombang . Through this group he wants to be able to express more of his interpretation and perception of Minangkabau’s culture and traditions.
Most of his contemporary works were produced based on his strong understanding of Minangkabau’s cultures and traditions. His belief, “You learn from your environment” colours his works, and make him translate day-to-day life into “soundless” artworks.
Ever since of its establishment, the group has received a lot of accolade for their performances. Overseas performances include places such as Brisbane Powerhouse Australia in 2007, Festival Theatre Der Welt, Essen, Germany in 2010 and New York City Centre in 2012.
The devastating earthquake that hit Padang in September 2009 pushed Ery Mefri and his dancers to create a new dance, Night Dances, that explores the bravery of the human spirit in facing natural disasters. The voice of a wailing women with a single drumbeat accompanies the powerful, heartfelt movements of the dance. The piece asks the audience to contemplate the position of woman as mother earth and guardian of the world’s harmony, and how a devastating earthquake can be seen as a punishment for the sins of men that only women can redeem to rebuild the world order. Night Dances was a joint production with Brisbane Powerhouse, Darwin Festival and Esplanade-Theaters on the Bay, Singapore.Choreographer: Ery Mefri; Dancers: Angga Mefri, Rio Mefri, Geby Mefri, Intan Mefri, Ririn Mefri; Lighting: David Walters; Production: Brisbane Powerhouse, Darwin Festival and Esplanade – Theaters on the Bay, Singapore.
“Ratak Pamenan” (Broken Toy)
When a toy that I used to love and play with everyday became cracked and broken, all that was left was the memory of the toy, and no other toy could replace it. But the toy was not intentionally broken. It became old and worn, and was put aside as unusable. Ratak Pamenan reflects how old traditions are left behind and replaced by modern traditions, but sometimes people forget that the old tradition is an identity that cannot be easily replaced or cast aside.