Javanese gang


Sanggar O is located at Jalan Raya Bojong no. 120, Bojong Kidul, Kelurahan Bojong, RT01 RW03, Kecamatan Kemang, Bogor, Jawa Barat 16310, Indonesia. Google Maps recognizes Sanggar O (https://goo.gl/maps/cDxzYcMC2KM2).

Sanggar O is a new experimentation and rehearsal space for the performing arts in Bogor, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, which opened on 1 January 2018.

“Sanggar” means “studio” in Indonesian, from the Sanskrit “sanggam”, to bring together. Sanskrit has influenced most of the languages of Southeast Asia. The “O” is zero, nol, emptiness, beginning, completion, perfection, circle, unity, the world, the universe…

The aim of Sanggar O is to provide a basic space and accommodation for performing artists from Jakarta, other parts of Indonesia, ASEAN and neighbouring countries, and the rest of the world to collaborate and learn from each other towards contributing to a new culture for the region. We’re not fancy. We’re practical and relaxed. We understand that the real work is deep within and an interesting environment helps it develop.

Please note that Sanggar O is not a holiday resort but a theatre camp where people come to work. Our accommodation is basic and functional by Indonesian standards.

Artistic vision and background

Our vision is a place where artists of all types, but particularly those in the performing arts, can take the time needed to experiment, to explore by or amongst themselves without fuss or unnecessary pressures. If this involves sharing with the local or wider community, then so be it. If not, no problem.

What’s most important to us is relationship, friendship in which we can work together. This is the spirit of the arts in Indonesia and we are keen to foster it. We might not have the technical prowess but we rather seek ‘dalam’, that which is within. This often takes time, especially for those who are not familiar with the process and background of the arts in Indonesia and ASEAN.

The background is that co-founder Liswati, after nearly 20 years’ working with one director and group is now starting anew, looking for new ways of working internationally as well as within Indonesia. Her husband, Robert, a writer, dramaturg and occasional performer, wants to contribute to the development of Indonesian experimental theatre and culture in general. The board of directors are from experimental theatre, dance, film, literature, curatorial and performance art backgrounds. Sanggar O is a “perkumpulan” (gathering) under Indonesian law, with various taxation and reporting requirements.

Jakarta has only a very few public and private theatres and so performing-arts groups, especially those with none of the limited funding provided by government or private sponsors, find it almost impossible to find rehearsal space, even if they could afford it. This was what drove us to create Sanggar O.

In the past, artists would typically gather at a senior artist’s sanggar for extended periods to make work individually or collectively. This was unwaged work that relied on friendships and shared visions. These days, with increasing consumerism and easily available digital media, artists and audience alike have turned to their mobile phones and computers or enjoy the patronage of wealthy individuals or organisations to produce specific programs. There are few remaining sanggar in Indonesia that are focused on the older formula of generous space, time and friendships.

Sanggar O sets out to go someway toward restoring that which is missing, hoping to encourage a more relaxed, thoughtful, experimental, collaborative, longer-term approach between artists of different disciplines, styles, languages and nationalities. We are particularly interested in using this approach with other traditions, especially those in the ASEAN and East Asian regions, to contribute to creating a new culture that cherishes the past while engaging with the present and inspiring the future.

In keeping with this approach, we have as yet no fixed program but rather intend to discuss options with individual artists and groups about how to use the space to best advantage to achieve our mutual goals.

Sanggar O is not intended for large public events but rather experimentation and rehearsals with “work in progress” performances for colleagues, if desired, and activities with our neighbours, such as community cultural collaborations, contemporary and traditional dance and theatre classes or other events: weddings, parties, anything.



Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sanggarObojong/

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