JakArt@2004 Festival à la Carte Artists – Mugiyono Kasido

Mugiyono Kasido

Contemporary Dance


Mugiyono Kasido
was born in 1967 in Klaten/Central Java, grew up in a family performing puppet shows and Javanese masked dance, and went on to explore various forms of traditional dance and ritual movement. He received his formal training in Dance and Theatre at the Indonesia College of Arts (1988-93) and with dance masters Rono Suripto and Suprapto Suryodarmo. His first engagement was with Sardono Kusumo, one of Indonesia’s outstanding performers. Mugiyono Kasido created “Mati Suri”, his first piece, in 1992; since then he has developed 23 works.

“Bagaspati – From the sun’s soul” and “Kabar Kabur – Rumours”

According to the Indonesian dancer and choreographer Mugiyono Kasido,
“A country is like a body, made up of various elements, each with their own function and position. They should be kept in harmony, otherwise the body will go wrong, become sick and, in the end, die in misery” – a clear statement on Mugiyono’s beliefs in the metaphorical power of dance.


In these two very different choreographic works, Mugiyono embraces the entire spectrum of an Indonesian reality located in the gap between a strongly spiritual tradition and the everyday battle to survive. In “Bagaspati” (From the sun’s soul) he employs slow, graceful movements and traditional mask dance to create a mystical atmosphere, gradually yet irresistibly drawing the audience under its spell.

“Kabar Kabur” (Rumours), though, is a complete contrast. Dressed only in a white T-shirt and khaki shorts, Mugiyono stages his performance on a miniscule stage, no larger than a table, his initially simple gestures slowly becoming transformed, twisted and knotted, as he fights against his own body in his T-shirt in a struggle symbolising the turmoil permeating Indonesia’s complex reality. Located somewhere between serious comment and irony, Mugiyono presents an image of Indonesian society, an economic, political and social complex where everything is topsy-turvy, everything is inverted, and nothing seems to function – and every piece of information is just a rumour, leading to problems, misunderstandings, and misinterpretations.


Mugiyono Kasido grew up in a world of puppet shows. In Indonesia he became a choreographer and dancer of the highest distinction. Several of his works, such as Kabar Kabur, Bagaspati, Kosong and Amorpheus, have been shown at various festivals in Europe. They reveal a cross of cultures, since he has worked with the choreographers Denise Reyes (Philippines), Waguri (Japan), Osama (Japan), Ria Haggler (Netherlands) and Lane Savador (USA).

The dancer and choreographer Mugiyono Kasido’s delivers a subtle criticism of his home country Indonesia with his disguised and distorted moovements.

Mygiyono Kasido says about his piece
‘Kabar Kabur’:

“A country is just like our body, it has some element, which have their own function and position. They should be kept in harmony, otherwise the body will go wrong, sick, and at last die in misery”.

‘Kabar Kabur’ is an expression generated from observing the social, economic, political situation in my homeland, which in fact runs disorderly, upside down and uncertainly. Everything sounds like ‘rumours’, that are dubious, vague and hazy which one could not obviously understand. They are frequently wrongly comprehended and mistakenly interpreted.

During the performance Kabar Kabur the elastic and equilibristic Mugiyono Kasido fights against his own body indside his T-shirt.

Born in 1967 in a family of mask puppeteers in Java, Indonesia.

Attended different art, dance and theatre schools for 12 years.

During his studies at the Indonesian College of Arts in the Surakarta and the Mangkunegaran Palace, he became familiar with traditional dance and ritual movements.

In 1992 he started his dance career with own choreographies.