CLAYMOZOME: these clay bodies are without boundary, clay flesh becoming the shape of desire
Photography-Dance collaboration, with Gendis Photoworks, and dancers Ari Rudenko and Alfo Smith Kutanggas

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We are very excited to have finished the performances of HOLY GARDEN in San Francisco at NOHspace Theater this week!  We have some beautiful photographs by Ravi Kohli out now, and soon we will have video to share as well.

HOLY GARDEN Tickets Now on Sale!!

HOLY GARDEN Feb 23-24 tickets are now on sale at:


FILMING NOTE: both performance nights of HOLY GARDEN will be filmed.  While the filming will not focus on audience members, please note that you may be recorded at some point during the night.  When the final edit is complete, the film will become available, and those who purchased TICKET + FILM, and SPECIAL SUPPORTER level tickets will get a password to download or stream online.  




FEBRUARY 23 - 24
2840 Mariposa St, San Francisco, CA

The San Francisco debut of the original feature-length dance theater production by FATAMORGANA DANCETHEATER, written and directed by Ari Rudenko, performed by Ari Rudenko, Shoko Yamamuro, Ni Luh Kompiang Davies, Barbara Byers, Adrian Wong, Lila Dodge, and Brandon Yu.  TICKET information coming soon.

     HOLY GARDEN is a dark dream of temptation and a questioning into the nature of Holiness, rooted in an experimental interpretation of the Balinese and Javanese mystic practice of the Four Spiritual Siblings.  HOLY GARDEN is a multi-layered vision, both intensely present and mirage-like, both hypnotically beautiful and terrifying.  
    Holy Garden is the story of a blind eel, living in the bones of a dead whale in the inky darkness of the ocean floor.  When she dies, she is reincarnated into the Holy Garden as a shadow creature (mahluk asing in Indonesian), a stranger in a strange land.  Here in the Holy Garden, she encounters the four forbidden fruits (black, red, gold, and white), each guarded by the Four Spiritual Siblings.  Will she eat them all?
    Originally conceived of and written by Ari Rudenko in Bali, HOLY GARDEN is crafted in a unique style that fuses aspects of Butoh theater with inspiration and energy from Indonesia.  Since its inception in 2012, HOLY GARDEN has been staged five times in Bali and Java, Indonesia, in collaboration with an Indonesian and International cast.  Click here O for details.



An update! Some of you know, I am in San Fransisco now, and very excited to be working on my biggest project yet: an experimental film of a new version of HOLY GARDEN. The piece will feature a new cast of performers, an exciting cutting-edge filming technique, and will draw on the rich resources and inspirations available in the Bay Area.   I can't say much more yet, but more updates will come soon! All information about the piece will be released at - so keep the page booked!

Ari Rudenko and Catur Sang Klana Wijaya in HOLY GARDEN 5 (Bali on Stage, 2015)

The Treasurer

New painting, "The Treasurer."  Investigations into HOLY GARDEN through illustration of visions..

Photographs from HOLY GARDEN

Many thanks to Diana Charlotte for the photographs and all her help with costumes and organization.  Check out the HOLY GARDEN page for more details, and stay tuned for future announcements. 

Photos from In Heat with Narwastu Gamelan

"In Heat V" was performed for Bali Arts Festival, with original Balinese gamelan score composed by I Wayan Rajeg and performed by Gamelan Narwastu, July 5, 2015

Ari Rudenko to train with Dairakudakan GOFUNDME

My big dream is to develop a dance-theater company based in Indonesia, founded in a fusion of butoh technique and Indonesian tradition. The Japanese butoh company that inspires me beyond all others is Dairakudakan (The Great Camel Battleship!), founded by Akaji Maro. This company has thrived for over 30 years, touring the world with fantastic, disturbingly beautiful and absurdly surreal performances with intricate ensemble choreographies and a brilliant visual aesthetic.   Dairakudakan is the model I want to study to learn how to create my own company, and I want to learn about every aspect of how they choreograph and train.

I ALREADY bought my plane ticket to Japan to join the DAIRAKUDAKAN SUMMER INTENSIVE in Hakuba, August 1-7 2015.  But I need to raise enough funds to pay for the workshop and the rest of my travel expenses.  Please donate now to the GoFundMe page!!!!

 Akaji Maro and Dairakudakan in Temptenshiki

Akaji Maro and Dairakudakan in Temptenshiki

In Heat at Lanjong Art Festival, Kalimantan

Lanjong Art Festival, Tenggarong, Kalimantan Timur (East Borneo), Indonesia
May 29, 2015
The 4th performance in the In Heat Series
Special thanks to all the Lanjong staff and participants who helped out with the project. 

Dalem kekosongan adalah percikan
Lava tak berujung dalam tubuhku
Irama panas yang menubuhkan generasi
Sebuah erotisme serangga emas
In the Void is a spark
Lava gathering within my body
Hot rhythm that spawns generations
An eroticism of golden insects

    For Lanjong Art Festival, I performed the latest realization of the “In Heat” series, exploring the primal heat of desire through the image of lava within the volcano.  This piece aimed to experiment deeper into the “conduction” concept I first tried out at the 2015 spring residency at Goddard College.  In the Lanjong performance, in an outdoor  jungly amphitheater, an audience of 400 are given stones and are coaxed with the poem above into an experience of heat transference that guides my body on stage.  
    I set the stage with two raised platforms on the right and left side of the stage, with large monolithic rocks placed upon them.  These installations refer to the Balinese volcanos Gunung Agung and Gunung Batur, which are present in all the images related to the theme of “In Heat.”  Balinese see their island as a Bhuana Alit, which means “little world” and the island symbolically stands for all existence.  The human body is also Bhuana Alit, with the feet in the ocean, the torso in the body of the land, and the head at the peak of the mountain.  Or more cosmically, the feet in the underworld of demons, the torso in the realm of humans and animals, and the heat reaching towards the divine realm.  
    My body becomes the island, with my sex and root chakras anchored into the magma within the earth, my torso-body becoming the mountain, and my head a place of eruption into the heavens. 



    In this performance, I explored for the first time the “elegant princess” or putri halus costume motif, which features a long rectangular fabric that trails from the front between the legs, and forms an elegant train behind or to the side of the body.  Following the previous “In Heat” costumes, I used a thick canvas material that can form shapes resembling mountain slopes.  This costume is a characteristic feature of the dance Tari Oleg Tamulilingan, the Balinese insect love dance from which I am drawing inspiration for the developing “In Heat” series.   In the Balinese dance, there is a distinctive use of the back foot to flick the fabric train from one side of the body to another.  I use the movement drawn from the Balinese dance, but then transform the train into a mountain rage to the side of my body, and dance the lava spilling down the slopes.  
    My tasks going forward into the Bali Arts Festival performance of “In Heat” include a month of exploration into this cloth material, and also further lessons in Tari Oleg Tamulilingan.   
    Based on my rehearsals with Narwastu Gamelan in Bali, I discovered the beauty of a gong paired with the sound of the stones in conduction.  At the opening night of Lanjong festival, I saw a beautiful experimental music piece by a group of musicians from Jogja, which included a hypnotic and creative usage of a gong, hit with different materials and in different ways by hand.  I asked the gong player Rusdi Vazta to join with me.  He is a painfully shy guy, but I felt confidence in him.  For the performance, the gong sounded lovely with the stones, and I was able to flick the long fabric in time with the gong in a way that was most satisfying for me.  However, Rusdi more or less stayed in a consistent rhythm for the duration of the performance, and as a result, the audience with their stones followed the dominance of the gong, rather than the movement of my body.  The sound was still very lovely to move with, but I didn’t feel the hyper-connectivity with the audience I experienced during the Goddard performance.
    One lovely bit of magic did occur.  While I was down in my sitting position, I had my eyes near closed, and I felt a kind of flutter around my face and body.  I opened my eyes to find a gorgeous large golden moth spiraling all around me.  This insect is one of my great loves and a primal image inside the “In Heat” performance, as the moth is the form my Gold Sister most often takes.  Her energy brought about a deep sense in me, an urge to move inside the work.
    But upon exiting the stage, a had a funny feeling, as if there was something very incomplete and unsaid.  I almost wanted to go back on stage, and start again.  I look forward to my next performance for Bali Arts Festival, with another month of process.