Postcolonial Spirits

Choy Ka Fai
' A new take on Indonesian folk dance Dolalak in a live link with Surakarta '

The Singaporese artist Choy Ka Fai is doing an extensive research into shamanistic dance culture in Asia. For Postcolonial Spirits he has immersed himself in the Indonesian dance ritual Dolalak. It is a dance that has adapted time and again to popular culture. In the 1930s, for instance, the traditional Javanese dance was mixed with movements made by Dutch colonial soldiers as they partied, and with sung Islamic poetry. Today, Dolalak is popular among young female influencers who dance it on TikTok to the tunes of the Indonesian pop genre dangdut.

Inspired by the ever-evolving Dolalak, Choy Ka Fai scrutinizes cultural and historic ritual through the lens of contemporary technology. On stage in Utrecht is dancer Vincent Riebeek who has a live link to Dolalak dancer Andri Kurniawan in Surakarta. Collaborating in the virtual realm, they attempt to create a dance together for our post-corona world. A surprising dance performance across time and space.

"This work is part of a larger project by Choy Ka Fai, called Cosmic Wonders - a magnificent work of art. The project reaches out to different shamanistic traditions across the world, and it wasn’t easy to decide which should be the first to be introduced to our Utrecht audience. In the end, I chose “Postcolonial Spirits” not only because it highlights the surprising Dutch influence on certain Indonesian traditions, but also because Vincent Riebeek – no stranger to SPRING – will be joining Ka Fai on stage." - Grzegorz Reske, artistic director SPRING

Concept, Documentary, Narration, Direction: Choy Ka Fai
Supernatural presence: Raden Mas Sosro
Dramaturgy: Tang Fu Kuen
Choreography & Performance: Vincent Riebeek, Andri Kurniawan
Assistant director: Darlane Litaay
Music & Sound composer: Yennu Ariendra
Live music performer: J. Mo'ong Santosa Pribadi
Vocalist: Nova Ruth, Andri Kurniawan
Light design, Installation, Technical direction: Ray Tseng
Stage Management: Sanja Gergoric
3D Visual design & Technology: Brandon Tay
Mocap Data Stream: Keith Chia
Visual artist: Sven Gareis / telematique
Video Operator: Tammo Walter
Set design: Dan Lancea
Props design: Soy Division
Costume (Berlin): Justyna Gmitrzuk
Costume tailoring (Indonesia): Mr. Harjito
Heritage consultation: Dolalak Budi Santoso Group
Artistic Assistant: Irina Demina
Research Assistant: Sanne van Aalderen
Production manager, Research & Translation (Indonesia): Sekar Handayani
Project manager: Mara Nedelcu
Production: Choy Ka Fai in cooperation with Tanz im August / HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin.
Supported by: The Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Fonds Darstellende, Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
The research process is supported by: The National Arts Council, Singapore.
Photo material made available by: the KITLV/ Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast, Asian and Caribbean Studies (
Logos: Tanz im August, Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa des Landes Berlin (SenKultEu), NEUSTART KULTUR #TakeAction, NAC


18/05/2022 19:00 tickets sold out cancelled Waiting list

19/05/2022 19:00 tickets sold out cancelled Waiting list


€17,- / €14,-*


Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, Blauwe zaal


SPRING 2022 


Duration: 90 minutes

Language: English, Dutch and Bahasa Indonesia spoken with Dutch and English surtitles


Please note: contains mist, smoke and light stroboscopic effect

*online prices, €2,- addition at the Box Office

Wed 18 May: After the performance there will be a 10 minutes 10 questions after talk in the hall

Thu 19 May: After the performance you can have a chat with the festival philosopher in the foyer


& more


SPRING passe-partout