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Javanese Shadow Theater Lecture:<br>The Challenges of Translation

Saturday, March 10, 2012
12:00 AM
Rackham Amphitheatre, 915 East Washington Street, Ann Arbor

A lecture by Kathyrn Emerson and Purbo Asmoro. <br> <br> Open to the public with free admission.

Renowned shadow drama master Purbo Asmoro (of the Indonesian Institute of the Arts in Surakarta) and his troupe of top gamelan musicians will present the living classical drama and musical traditions of Java in March, 2012, with a performance of a wayang kulit (shadow theater), and a series of workshops and lectures. The remarkable visual effects of wayang, to the sounds of a full gamelan ensemble, will be accompanied by projected English translations of the narrative provided by Kathryn Emerson (Jakarta International School). Often lauded as the pinnacle of aesthetic achievement in Indonesia, wayang is one of the world’s great classical theatrical forms. The glittering cast bronze instruments of the Indonesian gamelan orchestra match every detail of the puppeteer’s performance with an elaborate musical response. Our performance presents an episode from the Javanese version of the ancient Hindu epic the Ramayana, featuring the beloved Prince Rama and the white monkey Hanuman and their heroic attempts to rescue Rama’s wife Sita from a powerful demon king. The story is packed with excitement, featuring humorous clowns, fierce battles, an assortment of animals, and brings up deep philosophical questions that will resonate with today’s audiences. All events will be open to the public; for free tickets, contact Susan Walton.

This project is sponsored by the Center for World Performance Studies Artist Residency Program, North Quad, the Residential College, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, and Arts at Michigan. The gamelan is owned by the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments, in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance.