Photo of Rianto in Medium, Taiwan Dance Platform 2018



A stage bathed in a pool of white light, and a whispery, ritualistic soundscape becomes the arena for a singular performer to execute a series of rippling arms, rigorous shakes and stamps, seemingly cleansing his body of its movement memory. Rianto, a dancer who previously toured with Akram Khan, begins to perform Medium, a melange of movements inspired by the traditional Javanese ‘lennger’ dance. Observing his fingers as they wriggle intricately through space, slapping his bare chest and transforming his body with animalistic qualities, it’s as if the performer is discovering his body anew – pushing it to its the limits with childlike inquisitiveness. All this is accompanied by a red-robed Taiwanese musician, who at one point enters the space to torment the performer with her frantic strings, making her appear complicit in his metamorphosis into a renewed being exploring his corpus.

Emily May