Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal & Ria Soemardjo

Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal together with long-term collaborator Ria Soemardjo, create powerful contemporary performance rituals, interweaving dance, live music and image. Their most recent iteration, Ngayomi (shelter), is a shared journey between audience and two performers, set in a dystopian future, in a newly regenerating landscape.

Working with dramaturg Rachael Swain, the artists continue researching their shared Javanese cultural heritage and First Nations ecological wisdom – drawing connections with sacred mythology, sea level rise, groundwater contamination, mud volcanoes and escalating flood fire disasters forcing migration, adaptation and innate resilience.

Hosted by two wise Jamu aunties, audiences are gently and playfully guided into an intimate, direct encounter with unique objects, movement, sound. The dancing is visceral and refined, spirited and sensual held by the soulful mesmerising soundscape featuring voice and an eclectic array of bespoke musical instruments.

Ngayomi evokes a ceremony for the losses and horror of the past, grounded in hope for the future.

Ngayomi showing excerpts with audience, in Marrugeku’s Dance and Cultural Dramaturgies on Contested Land symposium, Carriageworks, July 2023 (7 minutes)
Ngayomi excerpts from residency at Critical Path, February 2023 (4 minutes)

About the artists

Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal is a performer, choreographer and creative collaborator. Born in Darkinjung Country she has Javanese ancestry directly descended from Yogyakarta’s first Sultan and Borobudur temple and equally Australian Scottish Viking convict-settler.  Her unique dance language is forged in classical ballet, jazz, modern, Java court arts, Bali temple ritual, eco-somatic improvisation and creative collaboration with First Nations Australian dance artists. Awarded High Distinction for a Master of Choreography Research at VCA Melbourne University her entrancing intercultural transdisciplinary work has been created and performed in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Ria Soemardjo is a Melbourne based musician with a passion for collaboration across a diverse range of genres and artforms. Her evocative, textured soundscapes are often performed live using an eclectic array of unusual instruments including voice, gamelan instruments, percussion and found objects.  Ria’s distinct, haunting vocal style and musicality reflects her Australian/Javanese cultural heritage and a deep appreciation for the timbres, rhythmic complexity and the ceremonial association of Balinese and Javanese gamelan traditions.