Wayang Kulit Shadow Puppet Show Sun 4/23!

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Shadow Puppets of Java: “Crowning Gatutkaca”

Featuring wayang kulit puppet master Midiyanto and the gamelan music of Nusantara Arts!

Sunday April 23rd, 3-5pm
$10-$20 sliding scale
Asbury Hall – Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center

Join Nusantara Arts for an afternoon performance of cosmic Javanese Wayang Kulit shadow puppetry, dance and gamelan music featuring puppet master Midiyanto. This special program funded by the National Endowment of the Arts is entertainment that also teaches our audience about the wayang puppetry art form, the ancient characters, and makes for a fun filled Sunday afternoon activity for all ages! Puppet making materials are available for kids and crafters. Leave your idea of what a theater or musical performance experience is and get lost in the magic of wayang kulit from Indonesia.

Story Synopsis “Crowning Gatutkaca”:
The mighty and heroic Gathutkaca, son of Bima, is soon to be made the king of Pringgandani. Gathutkaca searches for guidance on how to best lead this kingdom. His cousin Raja Bomo, undefeatable due to the Aji Pancasona incantation is bitterly jealous, setting up a confrontation.
Their uncle Arjuna attempts an intervention to no effect…

All questions related to performance accessibility or inquiries related to special needs for our guests can be sent to [email protected]. Please have all accessibility requests sent at least 2 weeks prior to the performance.


Dhalang Puppet Master: Midiyanto
Kendhang Drum: I.M. Harjito
Javanese Dance: Veronica Retnaningsih
Gamelan music accompaniment: Nusantara Arts

Javanese Shadow Puppetry:
Wayang Kulit performances are traditional and wildly popular multi-genre performances from Indonesia. They combine virtuosic shadow puppetry, enrapturing gamelan music, comedy, philosophy, community, and civic engagement. The Wayang performance is led by the dhalang (puppet master) who controls the performance of the puppets and cues the gamelan musicians who have to follow very closely to the signals, creating exciting and smooth transitions between scenes. Our story comes from the ancient Indian epic the Mahabharata.

Javanese Dance Special guest Veronica Retnaningsih from the Kraton palace of Yogyakarta in Central Java will be performing golek Lambangsari dance during the wayang performance. Veronica is currently a visiting artist at Wesleyan University in an exchange program with the royal palace. She has taught dance in Indonesia and beyond since 1986; she’s traveled around the world to dance and teach

Ki Midiyanto is a renowned Javanese musician and dhalang (puppet master). Born in Wonogiri, a rural district in the southern part of Central Java, Midiyanto comes from a family of many generations of gamelan musicians and puppeteers. He attended the Sekolah Menegah Karawitan Indonesia (Indonesian Academy of Musical Arts) and Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia, now known as Institut Seni Indonesia (Indonesian Academy of Musical Arts) in Surakarta before going abroad to teach and perform. Over the last 30 years Midiyanto has taught and performed extensively in Indonesia, the U.S., Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada.  He has been featured in several documentary films and directed the gamelan for the Shadow Music of Java CD recorded at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. during a two-month residency in 1991. Currently Ki Midiyanto, teaches and performs as Lecturer and Co-Director of Gamelan Sari Raras at University of California, Berkeley, and as a guest artist and instructor throughout the U.S., Indonesia, and internationally.

I.M Harjito is one of the finest living Javanese musicians. A graduate of Indonesia’s state conservatory for the traditional performing arts, he worked closely with one of the major figures of 20th-C Javanese music, Martopangrawit. He has directed gamelan ensembles in Indonesia and the U.S. He is currently on faculty at Wesleyan University.

Nusantara Arts, is a West Side based Indonesian Arts and Culture organization dedicated to high quality performances and education of gamelan music, Wayang Kulit shadow puppetry, dance, and art. Nusantara Arts is the only non profit organization in the US to specialize in both Javanese and Balinese gamelan music. Nusantara Arts provides regular community and school classes and has performed with incredible visiting artists such as Midiyanto, Wakidi Dwidjomartono, Darsono Hadiraharjo, Heri Purwanto, Gusti Komin, Heni Savitri, and Pamardi Tjiptopradongo.

Program Funded by:National Endowment of the Arts, American Indonesian Culture and Education Foundation, Humanities NY, Stenclik Family Foundation, Simple Gifts Fund