Babad Alas Mrentani (The Opening of Mrentani Forest)

7:30 PM , Saturday, 28 November 2009
Orvis Auditorium, UH Mānoa
$12 general / $8 students & seniors

Javanese Wayang Kulit (Shadow Puppet Theatre)
Presented in cooperation with the Hawaii Gamelan Society

Directed by Byron Moon, UH Gamelan Ensemble
Emeritus Director: Hardja Susilo
Guest Artists: Widiyanto, dhalang (puppeteer) and Sutrisno Hartana (musician)

In the never ending feud between the Pendhawa and the Kurawa clan, the devious Kurawa Prime Minister, Sengkuni, manages to coerce the young innocent Pendhawa princes into placing their estate as a wager in a Kurawa sponsored fixed game of dice. Losing the game, the Pendhawa are exiled to the treacherous Mrentani forest. The Pendhawa’s attempt to open the forest to establish a dwelling place encounters fierce resistance from the genie, ghosts, and ghouls of the forest. With great effort the Pendhawa defeat the denizens of Mrentani, and establish a new prosperous state of Amarta.

Master puppeteer Widiyanto joins the UH Gamelan Ensemble to present a wayang kulit performance in celebration of the 75th birthday of the ensemble’s founding director, Hardja Susilo. As a concession to western audiences, the performance time will be reduced in length to around two hours from the traditional eight. The story will be told in both Javanese and English and accompanied by a full gamelan orchestra.

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