Indija N. Mahjoeddin

Indija N. Mahjoeddin

Indija Mahjoeddin is an Australian-Indonesian writer/performer whose performance practice has consciously engaged her Sumatran heritage. She first formulated ideas for cross-pollinating performance disciplines during formative years at the Adelaide Theatre Group under Doug Leonard. After a formal grounding in dance studies and production (lighting) at WAAPA, Indija pursued independent theatre-making with a particular focus on music theatre drawing on Randai, a Sumatran folk opera tradition she studied for one year in the Padang-Panjang Academy of Performing Arts, Indonesia. As a result, her Australian based work moved toward this oral poetic narrative form. She wrote and directed The Horned Matriarch: Story of Reno Nilam (SOCOG Olympic Arts Festival 1998) and for young people, Mr Stupid (Pak Pandir and his Waterbuffalo) touring through schools from 1998 – 2006. The Arthurian Randai Project (2003) and The Ballad of Boldenblee (Newcastle 2004) both engaged regional communities in the Randai making process.

An alumni of Asialink residency program, Indija’s work has been supported by ANPC conference 2004, published in Three Plays by Asian Australians (Playlab/QUT 2000) and referenced in Australasian and International forums (NTQ, ASEASUK 2005 and ADSA 2004). She wrote the libretto of the choral work, The Hornets Nest (composer Mark Dunbar) for Canto Coro (2004) and in 2006 produced, directed and performed in the premiere season of her ‘chamber randai’ The Butterfly Seer at Carlton Courthouse. Having just completed her Master of Creative Arts thesis “Randai as a Contemporary Dramaturgy: Obstacles and Insights from an Intercultural Transposition” (University of Newcastle) in 2011 which probed the inner logic of randai and its components through three full length main-stage productions, she is now writing libretto for a new opera project and taking up an adjunct research position at Monash University.


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