Garin Nugroho’s staged Song Cycle, The Planet – A Lament, merges film with live dance and a 14-voice choir accompanied by Papuan Soloist to impart a moving story of creation set against the backdrop of environmental disaster.

Nugroho, expands his canvas to portray a destroyed community struggling in the aftermath of a devastating tsunami. He again performs his alchemical mix of striking cinematics, haunting song, wild dance and ancient ritual to concoct a new myth that speaks to our complex times.

For this new work, Nugroho collaborates with the outstanding Mazmur Chorale from Kupang and an artistic team from across the Indonesian archipelago of composers, choreographers and Papuan dancers alongside Australian dramaturg Michael Kantor and designer Anna Tregloan. Grounded in lament traditions of Melanesia, the thru composed Song Cycle is born from the visionary research of Papuan composer and soloist Septina Layan. The Planet – A Lament is an act of catharsis that mourns a world lost, while offering hope for another that may yet be nurtured in its wake.

Planet was co-commissioned by Asia TOPA, Arts Centre Melbourne, Theater Der Welt Dusseldorf 2020 and Holland Festival. The development was supported by the Australia Indonesia Institute (DFAT).

Planet premiered in Asia TOPA 2020, and has digital season at Protoype Festival, New York in January 2021.

Planned seasons at Theater Der Welt and Holland Festival are currently postponed due to COVID-19.

There are some great feature articles on the making of this work in Australian Financial Review and The Australian.