• zavé holds two golden fans and wears a beaded fringe mask


zavé martohardjono is a queer, trans, Indonesian-American artist working in performance, dance, installation, video, and poetry. Dwelling in their ancestors’ mythologies, with dreams of a more just future, they make work that contends with the political histories our bodies carry. zavé’s work is concerned with and prompted by inquiry into whether and how embodied healing, anti-colonial storytelling, and political education can de-condition the body, reconjure liberatory memory, and untangle entrenched assimilation. zavé’s dance improvisations, experimental works, multimedia works and writing address and subvert political histories.

zavé has been presented at the 92Y, BAAD!, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Center for Performance Research, El Museo del Barrio, HERE Arts, Issue Project Room, The Kennedy Center, Storm King Art Center, the Wild Project, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Boston Center for the Arts, Tufts University, and elsewhere in the U.S. Internationally, they have shown films and performed in Amsterdam, Berlin, Glasgow, Zurich, Skopje, and Jakarta. They were a 2022 MRX/Movement Research Exchange program artist in Skopje, Macedonia, 2021 NYPL Dance Research Fellow, 2020 Gibney Dance in Process artist, 2019 Movement Research AIR, 2017-2018 LMCC Workspace Resident, and a 2011 EMERGENYC artist. Their work has been written about in BOMB Magazine, Brooklyn Rail, Culturebot, Hyperallergic, and The New York Times.


up next

three finger salute at Tiger Strikes Asteroid-NY | July 22, 2023

Alongside co-choreographer Andrew Suseno and performer Kristel Baldoz, I’m premiering a new dance work, three finger salute on July 22 at 4:30pm at Tiger Strikes Asteroid-NY. three finger salute is an interactive public education performance inspired by and honoring pro-democracy protests and uprisings in Myanmar, Hong Kong, China, and across Southeast Asia. We’ve been learning and improvising dances using non-verbal protest gestures: Hong Kong protesters’ sign language used to distribute supplies during street actions, Myanmar’s anti-authoritarian three finger salute, and Chinese protesters’ gesture of holding blank sheets of paper, symbolizing dissent. three finger salute spotlights how protesters are challenging and resisting authoritarianism in innovative ways that subvert surveillance and crackdown. Find full event details and location here. This performance is free, no RSVP needed. Donate to support this project! 

a haunted botany | July 15, 2023

I’m performing in a haunted botany by artists Gwyneth Shanks and Sister James/AB Brown Saturday, July 15, at Hudson River Park at 12:30 PM. Reserve your free ticket at ahauntedbotany@gmail.com! In this richly researched archival performance project, Shanks and Sister James look at bloodwood, or logwood, once the most highly priced colonial export in the world, coveted for its rich purple and black dye. In the first of seventeen performances that engage the ways colonial botany stains our present, the two artists create an alternative imprint of the tree’s intertwined histories. Using a to-scale replica of a colonial tall ship topsail coated with cyanotype, a haunted botany reveals logwood’s role in and resistance to colonialism. a haunted botany is performed by Sister James/AB Brown, zavé martohardjono, Libby Paloma, Khadija Tarver, Gwyneth Shanks, and Lu Yim. Procession: Begins at the southwest corner of 6th Ave & West 4th Street at 12:30 PM; continues down LeRoy Street, takes approximately 20 minutes & involves walking on largely flat surfaces. Performance: Begins at approximately 1 PM in the lawn between Barrow and Morton Streets at Hudson River Park (just south of the Marsha P. Johnson Fountain). 60 minutes. 


Land/Escapes, a film made in collaboration with J Dellecave, Julia C Liu, and Aviva Jaye is premiering! You can see it in the exhibit Gathering at FiveMyles from July 8-August 13, 2023. And you can also view it on PerformVu, a digital home for experimental performance that just launched in July 2023. Use code “ZAVE” to get 7 days free and 33% off your first month.

The Dance Union Podcast

I caught up with the illustrious Melanie Greene, co-founder of The Dance Union Podcast, to reflect on the culmination of a five-year performance series, TERRITORY, and talk about post-show life, lulls, and feels. Listen on SoundCloud, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Play Music.


If you are interested in chatting about my work, you can email me directly at zave [at] zavemartohardjono [dot] com.
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