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.
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!
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.
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.