DUTCH choreographer Gerard Mosterd likes to think of his sojourn in Indonesia as one of the craziest stunts he has ever pulled in his life.
The 43-year-old freelance theatre-maker and dance teacher has been in Depok, a small university town south of Jakarta, for the last two months, choreographing and rehearsing a piece with seven Asian and European dancers.
He is collaborating on a new dance production called JAMUAN Bisu ...PARAdis_e ...? with renowned Indonesian choreographer Boi Sakti, 41.
The one-hour production fuses multimedia projections, Western contemporary dance and Minangkabau folk dance into a contemporary concoction exploring isolation and individualism.
In a phone interview with Life! from Depok, he says: "Some of my friends said I was crazy to do this project but I knew it was going to be an adventure.
"I had a lot of problems communicating with the dancers as the Indonesian ones don't speak or understand English. I speak Bahasa Indonesia but I don't have the vocabulary to go into deep, poetic stuff."
Mosterd, the son of a Dutch father and Indonesian mother, says he met Sakti in Holland a few years ago and they discussed working on a project together.
He adds that the culture clashes he has encountered over the last two months have been invaluable experience in his development as a choreographer.
He says: "Indonesian people are very good improvisers. In Indonesia, even when the premiere date is near, it's very typical that things may still not be organised. In Europe, people would have rehearsed continuously for two months. It's a completely different way of working here."
He adds, with a laugh: "People literally live on the volcano here so they don't worry too much about such things."
JAMUAN Bisu ...PARAdis_e ...? performs at the University Cultural Centre Hall at the National University of Singapore on Sept 28 and 29, at 8pm. Tickets at $23 and $30 are available from Sistic (www.sistic.com.sg, tel: 6348-5555).
"People literally live on the volcano here so they don?t worry too much about such things"
Dutch choreographer Gerard Mosterd explaining why Indonesians are more relaxed about deadlines