Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Anoman Duta in Vancouver

I've recently been invited to do a wayang with Gamelan Madu Sari of Vancouver, Canada. This will be for Gong! The Vancouver Gamelan Festival, celebrating 25 years of gamelan in Vancouver.

Also on the programme festival will be my friend Nyoman Wenten, who teaches at CalArts.

The lakon will be Anoman Duta (Anoman the Envoy), in a 90-minute telling of this iconic tale of the Ramayana. I'll be basing the story mostly on Cirebonese sources, though the gamelan will be playing mostly Solo style pieces (perhaps with some new compositions thrown in), and most of the wayang (borowed from resident artist Sutrisno) are in Yogya style. A real mix.

My telling will play up some of the grotesque elements of the story - including Anoman's meeting with his god-brother Gunung Parasu, the various demons of Ngalengka, and the like. I also hope to interweave the rather more serious story of Wibiksana, who changes sides to ally himself with Rama, even though it means fighting against his homeland.

Should be fun.

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