Bodies of Care


Open Call for a hybrid four-month fellowship for choreographers from Indonesia and Germany about community care and choreography in public space


The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to radically question our understanding as well as our daily practices of care and interpersonal relations. Questions about care — who cares and who does not care for whom — have become increasingly urgent during this crisis. The responses vary in different local and global contexts. Contemporary dance can be an important forum for imagining, sensing and realizing a different togetherness and for negotiating marginalization within our society. In a time where “public space” and “place” have merged with virtual and physical existence, new artistic approaches and spaces are needed to synchronize digital and analogue realities in meaningful ways and to connect them to specific social contexts. For that reason, Bodies of Care offers to be the space where participants can reflect and criticize current caring practices and cultures of care in Indonesia and Germany through contemporary choreography. It aims to explore the particularity of gestures from different parts of the country and different cities of the world. 


For their radio ballet “Dissemination Everywhere!”, the German media and performance art collective LIGNA asked choreographers from around the world, including Melati Suryodarmo from Indonesia, to explore the ways in which our society and our bodies have changed in this age of global threats. The participating audience listened via headphones and followed fourteen different movement instructions compiled together as a proposal for a different kind of social coexistence and care for each other. Having similar notions, Bodies of Care highlights the potential of choreographers to work with past, present and future communal activities, which embody the act of caring for the community, a way for each society to find its equilibrium. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, these acts of caring are transformed, deconstructed, or made invisible by today’s protocols. We ask choreographers from Germany and Indonesia to critically review what has changed during the pandemic by considering gestures of care as reflections of community maintenance.

>    How do we embody acts of care and how can we re-enact gestures of community care in a public performance?

>      When the body is understood as a collective of wounds, as traumas imprinted on the body, can we also find imprints of love and caring?

>    How much do nature, culture and the environment influence our gestures of care?

Open Call
for Choreographers

Bodies of Care is an explorative workshop series created by Goethe-Institut Indonesien and Sasikirana KoreoLab & Dance Camp that will result in the development and collaborative presentations of performances in public space. It is embedded in Sasikirana’s platform DOKUMEN.TARI established in 2020. We will invite ten choreographers and dancers (seven from Indonesia and three from Germany) who are interested in exploring gestures and embodied practices of care (especially community care) through choreography. Artists in the workshops will try to define care and community care in relation to their practices as choreographers, expressly related to the embodiment of care in their communities. Together with Melati Suryodarmo and LIGNA they will create an instructional performance that audiences in different public spaces can conduct. Priority is placed on projects that will benefit from international exchange and a broadening of professional networks. We encourage emerging choreographers from all over Indonesia and Germany to apply.



The following applicants are eligible for the program:

>      Residents of Indonesia or Germany

>      Professional choreographers between 24 and 35 years of age

>      Committed to contemporary dance for at least 3 years

Applicants for this fellowship are expected to:

>      Submit a form with their name, address, phone no., email address and website (optional)

>      Submit up to 3 links of video samples of previous choreographic works

>   Write a short proposal (< 500 words) in English about care/community care with respect to the practice of choreography in public space

>    Submit a link to an introduction video (1–3 minutes) in English that introduces their profile, activity as a choreographer, and their expectations about the program

>      Submit a CV in English

**Please, note that the platform Vimeo is not available in Indonesia.

Please submit your application here

The application deadline is 17th May 2021 11.59pm Jakarta Time

You will receive a confirmation email and the announcement by 5th June 2021. A jury will make the selection.


Each fellow will receive:

>      Expense allowance for production and documentation

>      Online artistic development reference with invited experts in relation to instructional performance, public space for artistic presentation, and community care practices

>      Online workshop on choreography in public space

>      Conceptual and technical assistance for artistic development from appointed mentors

>      Live presentation of a collaborative choreography resulting from the workshop to take place where the fellow resides

>      Publication of the documentation of the process and presentations

>      Opportunity for local, national, and international networking

>      Possible extension of the program in international forums

& Deliverables

Fellows are expected to:

>    Attend and actively contribute to an online residency program (via Zoom) that will take place weekly from the end of June to the end of August 2021. The series of workshops will be facilitated by mentors Melati Suryodarmo (Indonesian performance artist) and LIGNA (German media & performance art collective).

>   Create a collaborative site-specific instructional choreography that is engages a local community in Indonesia or Germany. The presentation will be accessible through different media, e.g. via public broadcast, web radio and websites. The public can participate as performers and spectators.

>  Document the process and the public performances in the form of photo essays, life narratives, and short documentaries that will be published in social media, DokumenTARI’s official website and will potentially be designed for future exhibitions.




Priority will be given to applicants who:

>      Reveal fresh possibilities for generating social impact through dance and choreography

>      Affirm and amplify local perspectives concerning care/community care and the activation of public space

>      Submit an innovative and community-embedded choreographic proposal

>      Show a commitment to participation in the program and willingness to implement ideas that result from interdisciplinary team learning and creative collaboration in an international network

>      Show evidence of continuity in their artistic creations

 In addition, we aim to work with participants from different regions.



About Sasikirana KoreoLAB and Dance Camp

The Sasikirana KoreoLAB and Dance Camp (SKDC) initiative aims to bring back the notion of the body as a tool of expression, not just the medium of representation. Focusing on contemporary dance, since 2015 Sasikirana annually holds a one-week intensive dance workshop that takes place in NuArt Sculpture Park (Bandung); in 2019 it was conducted in Tanjung Pinang, Riau Islands (Indonesia). The non-profit program has gained the attention not only of Indonesian dancers but also of dancers from the greater Asia region. Every year some 20–25 young dancers gather, train and are mentored by internationally-known dance professionals to develop their skills, conceptual thinking and creativity. At the end of each camp, the participants give a public work-in-progress presentation. The program intends to continue its positive impact on the development of a better ecosystem for the contemporary performing arts scene in Indonesia.


In 2020 Sasikirana launched DOKUMEN.TARI, an extension of the dance camp that primarily focuses on increasing the skills of Indonesian young dancers in articulating their critical thinking. The program intends to be a platform where young Indonesian dancers can store their life stories accompanied by visual documentation, thus making it the first accessible database of its kind in Indonesia. Presented as an online website database, photo essays and life narratives highlight the project’s second focus, namely to bridge the knowledge gap between the general Indonesian public’s perception of dance merely as entertainment on the one hand and dance as complex intellectual artistic expression on the other.



LIGNA is a media & performance collective with artists Ole Frahm, Michael Hüners and Torsten Michaelsen. Since 2002 their work is devoted to creating temporary situations that utilize the audience as a collective of producers—an association that can produce unforeseeable, uncontrollable effects that challenge the regulation of a space. One of LIGNA´s models of media usage, the Radio Ballet (invented in 2002), provides radio listeners with a choreography of excluded and forbidden gestures in formerly public but now controlled spaces such as train stations and shopping malls. In 2017 LIGNA received the George Tabori prize, the most important award in the German free theater scene.


Melati Suryodarmo

Melati Suryodarmo is an Indonesian durational performance artist. Her physically demanding performances make use of repetitive motions and often last for many hours, sometimes reaching “a level of factual absurdity”. Suryodarmo has performed and exhibited throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Born in Surakarta, she attended Padjadjaran University in Bandung and graduated with a degree in international relations before moving to Germany. She lived there for 20 years, studying performance art at the Braunschweig University of Art with Butoh choreographer Anzu Furukawa and performance artist Marina Abramović.


Melati later returned to Indonesia and founded Undisclosed Territory, an annual festival for performance art. She was the first woman to serve as artistic director for the Jakarta Biennale. Melati also established Studio Plesungan in Surakarta, where she resides, as a space to explore herself and to nurture young artists and choreographers.



The Goethe-Institut is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with a global reach. We promote knowledge of the German language abroad and foster international cultural cooperation. We convey a comprehensive image of Germany by providing information about cultural, social and political life in our nation. Our cultural and educational programs encourage intercultural dialogue and enable cultural involvement. They strengthen the development of structures in civil society and foster worldwide mobility. The Goethe-Institut has been present in Indonesia since 1962.


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Please submit the application here

The Narratives of

DokumenTARI Seri.03
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