Ki Seno Nugroho performed Anoman Obong at the monthly Ramayana wayang series sponsored by RRI, TVRI and Pepadi at Sasono Hinggil last night (Saturday 10 May 2009) to a large crowd. Seno said in the Limbukan said the ticketed audience (I paid Rp 8000 for my seat) was made up of real wayang devotees- different from the odd assortment of people who show up at his performances 'outside.' Indeed, Seno is one of the few Yogya puppeteers with a fan base, and many of them were in attendance.
It was an enthusiastic performance, with a strong supporting gamelan and 8 very attractive pesinden (a number of whom were ISI Yogya students). Mas Seno commented in the Limbukan about the importance of rehearsal (latihan)-- with training/studies (sinau) one can become competent (bisa) but only with rehearsal can one become good (apik). It was clear that the group has been rehearsing - there was a tight action-packed prologue showing Anoman's capture and numerous fast musical transitions.
Characterisation as always was strong. An angry and self-centred Dasamuka insulting everyone left and right; a beleagured Gunawan Wibisono left half-dead after being struck by Dasamuka and attacked again by the monkeys when he goes to help Rama. Sabetan, sulukan and language were all polished as always.
Again, the Goro-Goro went on too long for my taste but at least Mas Seno had the good sense NOT to include a perang kembang. In general though I think there was not enough plot development in this lakon - it felt to me like half of Anoman Duta elaborated to a full night's performance. This was perhaps not Mas Seno's fault entirely - the lakon was given to him by the organisers of the series I believe.
There was also a group of students from one of the parawisata academies handing out a very simple audience survey for a skripsi. I filled it in - and was gratefu to get a little snack box after for my efforts. The shoe is on the other foot.