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


I’m an interdisciplinary artist. As a mixed-race Indonesian-American, I live between my assimilation and my Javanese ancestry. My queer, transgender, non-binary body performs multiple border-crossings. My performances celebrate liminality and non-linear storytelling and explore legacies of colonial empire. I employ non-Western dance and mythology to unwind colonial conditioning. I am concerned with the question of whether, and how, embodied healing and anti-colonial storytelling can be used to de-condition the body and untangle entrenched assimilation. With this core question in mind, I make dance improvisation works, experimental theater, multimedia installations, and performance art that address and subvert political histories. To read more, see my bio and artist statement or check out my artist CV. You can also find writing and press about my work.

up next

Resiliency Motions 
Hosted by Movement Research
Thursday | December 17 | 10-12pm ET | Register here
Fridays | December 18 | 1-3pm ET | Register here

We need more juice in our joints as we spiral into Winter. Join me for free virtual dance workshops: Resiliency Motions hosted by Movement Research. In this series we meditate, visualize, move, and write together to tap into resiliency, free-ness, and embodied wisdom. Prompts and frameworks offer re/connection to the body as a starting point for transformation. Resiliency Motions samples embodied healing practices from Lama Rod Owens’ “Love and Rage”, practices centering the erotic as power from both Audre Lorde’s thought and Qi Gong, and anti-colonial wisdom of the body as nature.

Imagining: A Gibney Dance Journal | Issue 2
Read article

Over the Summer 2020, I talked with mayfield brooks and Raha Behnam about pandemic crisis, Black Lives Matter blossoming, and how we as community-engaged artists envision a thriving, collective society. We kneaded our hours of talking into this text, A Dream of the Possible, for Imagining: A Gibney Dance Journal with the invitation and support of the illustrious Eva Yaa Asantewaa, Gibney Dance’s Senior Director, Curator, and Editorial Director and Editorial Associate Dani Cole. mayfield, Raha, and I also wanted to share our full conversation which meandered into a lot of corners our text couldn’t capture. You can listen to the audio recording here.

Catch my poems in We Want It All

I’m honored to be part of this luscious, powerful collection We Want it All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics edited by Andrea Abi-Karam and Kay Gabriel, published by Nightboat Books. The anthology features over 70 intergenerational artists writing in dialogue with emancipatory political movements, imagining an altogether overturned world in poems that pursue trans relationships to desire, embodiment, housing, sex, ecology, history, pop culture, and the working day.


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