Sunday, April 12, 2009

Anoman Duta

Last night (11 April) I attended the monthly wayang kulit performance at Sasono Hinggil, a large hall in the southern alun-alun. These all night performances (lasting til 4am), sponsored by a variety of agencies, are broadcast live on RIR Yogyakarta. Admission is ticketed (8000 rupiah for first class seats and 6000 for second).

This year Sasono Hinggil is hosting a Ramayana series, with different dalang performing every month.

Last night Ki Hadi Sutikno presented Anoman Duta (Anoman, the Envoy). The alun-alun is very lively on Saturday nights, with lots of young people on motorcycles eating and drinking at warung. But Tikno does not have a huge reputation and the hall was perhaps half-full

While the puppets and keprakan were Yogya style, many of Tikno's sulukan and other aspects were Solonese. The wayang was very classical - following a traditional structure (Limbuk and Cangik even stood in front of the gapura as Rama went inside) and using customary language. Puppet movement was controlled and precise rather than strong or flashy. Tanceban were particularly elegant - and there was a nice use of shaking to bring life to arm and body movements.

Hadi Sutikno won the prize as best Yogya dalang at the wayang festival in December 2008, and while there was little in the way of excitement or passion (even Rahwana systematically asked his siblings and courtiers one by one to support his interest in Sinta), the storyline was clear and there were some nice dramatic touches. (I liked particularly the binding of Anoman by Indrajit.)

Also present at last night's show were Ki Enthus Susmono (plus entourage), Ki Seno Nugroho, Toro (Tikno's son) and his family. A number of Yogya dalang were keen to talk with Enthus, and a free-wheeling discussion was held for the whole of the goro-goro section in an adjacent hall/warung.

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