Dancing Shadows, Epic Tales:
Wayang Kulit of
Bartlett Wing March 8, 2009 through March
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
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.
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.
Dancing Shadows exhibition»
Shadows Lesson Plan»
to make a Javanese Shadow Puppet»
On Line Resources:
Public Program Schedule
March 8, 2009
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
members» always free!
April 26, 2009
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 demonstrations with
Indonesian Artists Kelik
By Museum admission.
Saturday 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Indonesian Shadow Puppet
/Wayang Kulit Performances
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,
and Youth (under 16) are free! For more information please call 505.476.1203
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
Sunday October 25, 2009
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
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!
March 14, 2010
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)