Saturday, December 06, 2008

Perempuan di Titik Nol

Last night was my first visit to Komunitas Salihara and I relied to somebody else to get into the place as Pejaten is not my roaming area, yet. Komunitas Salihara was built on a land of 3,237 square meters, located at Jalan Salihara 16, Pasar Minggu, Jakarta Selatan. It neatly houses Teater Salihara, Galeri Salihara, a nice canteen, office and guest house for artists. The community was founded by Goenawan Mohamad and managed by Utan Kayu Foundation.

Perempuan di Titik Nol (PDTN) Monologue was adapted by Sitok Srengenge from a novel titled Woman at Point Zero (1975) by Nawal El Saadawi, a renowned Egyptian novelist, essayist and physician, whose feminist works have broadened the boundaries of the Arab literature. The story was partly based on women's mental health materials that Nawal El Saadawi collected at Ain Shams University.

In the book, a psychiatrist's asked to examine the mental health of a female inmate, named Firdaus, whose abuse from her childhood period by her poor parents, the sexual abuse by her uncle who shamelessly preached her on morality, and the search for freedom from her dark life episodes as successful prostitutes, eventually ends in the murder of her pimp. She has been granted parole but she refused it every time it has been awarded. Death becomes her victory: "I want nothing. I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. Therefore I am free. For during our life it is our wants, our hopes, our fears, that enslave us."


The room was darkened when the charachter, played extremely well by Hamidah, took position, and a single soft cyclic sound was heard. The sound became so loud that tested my ears' defense before becoming softer and disappearing when the gridded light, depicting prisoners bars shadows, revealed the face of Firdaus.







Hamidah hypnotized and mesmerized the audience with her flawless monologue plays, her lively expressions, and stunning body works.








The whirling dance, that reminded me to the whirling dervish dances in sufi's community, symbolizing the character's freedom after taking the route to the unknown path, the path of death.


In the picture are the play director, all the supporting crew members, and the actress. The play is scheduled for two days, on Saturday and Sunday, December 5-6, 2008, starts at 8 p.m.

Hamidah was born in Tanjung Karang on October 6, 1984. She's a student of Comunication Department of Social and Political Sciences Faculty of Lampung University. She has been involved in several peroformances since 2001.
She deserves a long standing ovation for the full 2-hour incredible monologue and highly impressive body works and stage acts.

The play was directed by Iswadi Pratama, a graduate of Social and Political Sciences Faculty of Lampung University. He has directed more than 50 plays ever since he's active in the arts community back in 1990.

Background music was arranged by Deri Efwanto and Budi Laksana with vocal by Giant-O and Ibenk. Lighting was handled by Ahmad Jusmar, stage setting by Deri Efwanto, costume and make-up by Imas Sobariah, and Ruth Marini was the Project Officer and the Stage Manager.

It was a great play, highly recommended. With a little improvements in lighting, I wouldn't hesitate to award a full five stars rating for the play.