Sunday, May 10, 2009

Anoman Obong

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.

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