Javanese Wayang Kulit: Déwa Ruci (Bima’s Spiritual Enlightenment)
Shadow Puppet Theater of Indonesia
Ki Midiyanto, dhalang, in performance
With guest artist Heni Savitri
Accompanied by Gamelan Kusuma Laras
Directed by I.M. Harjito
Musical overture begins 30 minutes before show time
Déwa Ruci (Bima’s Spiritual Enlightenment)
Wayang kulit, one of the world’s great dramatic art forms, is a complete theatric experience, a visual and aural artistic spectacle. Based on the stories of the ancient epic, the Mahabharata, wayang performance can be counted on to range from the highest expression of classical performance to slapstick comedy, including sly political commentary on the news of the day.
All components of the wayang, from deft and often thrilling manipulation of intricately carved and painted flat leather puppets, to cueing the gamelan musicians who accompany the play is directed by one individual, the dhalang. This artistic polymath speaks in the voices of all the puppet characters, often 25-50 in one story, recites ancient poetry, sings in the characters’ voices, provides musical direction to the musicians via sung cues or knocks using a mallet clasped between his/her toes on the wooden puppet box, and sets the pace of the unfolding story. Ki Midiyanto performs in several languages, Javanese, Kawi, an ancient Javanese poetic language, and English.
On Sunday, May 15th we will host a special one-hour Javanese wayang kulit for families and children.
Click here for details.
Co-presented with the Indonesian Consulate New York. Part of Asia Society’s Citi Series on Arts and Culture