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Dancing Shadows, Epic Tales:
Wayang Kulit of Indonesia

Bartlett Wing March 8, 2009 through March 14, 2010
Bush and Sadam PupptersWayang kulit (shadow puppet) performance of Indonesia is among the oldest and greatest story telling traditions in the world and is said to lie at the heart of Indonesian culture. Wayang kulit are flat, leather puppets elaborately decorated and perforated, casting intricate and dramatic shadows when performed. Performances are always accompanied by a gamelan orchestra and traditionally begin in the evening and last until dawn. (Photo, left: Sadam Hussein and George Bush Wayang, Designer and Performer: Ki Enthus Susmono; Carver and Painter: Rasimin, Surakarta, Indonesia. 2001. International Folk Art Foundation Collection in the Museum of International Folk Art)


This is a highly refined art form that commemorates important life cycle ceremonies (such as circumcisions, weddings, and funerals) or social events (such as political elections or community, religious, and/or national holidays). Performances are usually based on classical literature such as the Indian epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana with contemporary issues incorporated into particular scenes. In fact, shadow puppet performance has been a popular mode of communication for ethical instruction, news broadcasting, and political campaigning.

Featuring the extraordinary collection of the Museum of International Folk Art, performance video projected on a double-sided screen to highlight both the shadows and the action of the dhalang (puppeteer), and exciting interactive and hands-on components, this exhibition introduces wayang kulit of Central Java. Various aspects of this performance art are explored, including gamelan music, the artistic techniques involved in making shadow puppets, the skills of the dhalang (puppeteer), regional variations, and the cultural context of wayang kulit.


On-line Dancing Shadows exhibition»


Dancing Shadows Lesson Plan»


How to make a Javanese Shadow Puppet»


On Line Resources
:

Virtual Instrument Museum»

American Gamelan Institute»

Wayang Kulit»

Wayang Kulit/Chicago Gamelan»

Wayang Puppet Theater»

Wayang Indonesia»

 

2009-2010 Public Program Schedule

Opening Sunday March 8, 2009
Reception hosted by the Museum of New Mexico Women's Board, live music by Gamelan Encantada» at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. plus puppet making for all ages! By Museum Admission, New Mexico residents with I.D. free on Sundays, youth 16 & under and foundation members» always free!

 

Sunday April 26, 2009
2 p.m.

Gamelan Concert by College of Santa Fe Gamelan Ensemble, in conjunction with the new exhibition Dancing Shadows, Epic Tales. By Museum Admission, New Mexico residents with I.D. free on Sundays, youth 16 & under and foundation membersť always free!


July 14, 16, & 18 2009
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
1 to 4 PM

puppet making detailShadow puppet making demonstrations with
Indonesian Artists Kelik Suwarno»
and
Riyadi Susanto».
By Museum admission.

 


August 29, 2009
Saturday
2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Indonesian Shadow Puppet /Wayang Kulit Performances
Master Puppeteer Ki Purbo Asmoro» makes a special appearance from Central Java, Indonesia to perform the story, Sesaji Raja Suya (The Grand Offering of the Kings), an episode from the Indian epic, Mahabharata. Simultaneous translated subtitling by Kathryn Emerson, wayang scholar and gamelan musician. Performances are free with museum admission. Seating is limited and available to all on a first-come-first-served basis. (Photo above: Ki Purbo Asmoro. Photograph by Hananta, 2008. Courtesy Ki Purbo Asmoro and Kathryn Emerson.) Closed-circuit broadcasting will be available in the Museum Atrium, and the exhibition Dancing Shadows, Epic Tales: Wayang Kulit of Indonesia will be open for both performances.

There are no phone or on-line reservations; tickets for the 2:00 pm performance will be available at the Museum front desk only beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday August 29th. Tickets for the 5:30 p.m. performance will be available at 4 p.m. Saturday August 29th at the Museum from desk only, tickets for the evening hours are $6.00 for adults, Foundation Members» and Youth (under 16) are free! For more information please call 505.476.1203

Funding is generously provided by the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Houston, the Ministry of Cultural and Tourism Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, and Newman's Own Foundation. This program is part of the Museum of New Mexico Centennial Celebration.

Sunday October 25, 2009
2-4 pm

Gamelan Demonstration by Professor Sumarsam» Master Gamelan Musician from Wesleyan University with New Mexico's Gamelan Encantada». Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Dancing Shadows, Epic Tales, Wayang Kulit of Indonesia

Sunday January 31, 2010
2-4 PM
Wayang Kulit & Gamelan panel discussion with Dr. Benjamin Brinner, Dr. Lisa Gold, Larry Reed, Dr. Kathy Foley and Professor Sumarsam, moderated by exhibition Curator Felicia Katz-Harris. By Museum admission, New Mexico residents with I.D Free on Sundays, youth 16 and under and foundation membersť always free!

Sunday March 14, 2010
2-4PM
FINAL DAY!

Puppeteer Ki MidiyantoWayang Kulit Demonstration with puppeteer and Gamelan instructor, Ki Midiyanto. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Dancing Shadows, Epic Tales. By Museum admission, New Mexico residents with I.D Free on Sundays, youth 16 and under and foundation members» always free!
(Photo, right: Puppeteer Ki Midiyanto performs Wayang Kulit. Eromoko, 2007)