Featured Artist: Madé Widana
Mr. Widana holds a Bachelor of Arts in Balinese Traditional Music from the Indonesian Arts Institute in Denpasar, Bali. He is a professional musician, dancer, and composer. When in Bali, Widana teaches traditional gamelan music in villages throughout the island and at several reputable music and dance studios. As a founding member and musician in the Bali-based world-renowned performing arts ensemble, Çudamani, Widana has participated in tours across the U.S., Japan, and in Europe. He has previously been in residence at the University of Hawai‘i between 2009 and 2013, during which time he taught the UH Balinese Gamelan Ensemble. He has also participated in numerous community outreach programs in the Hawai‘ian islands under the sponsorship of the East-West Center Arts Program, the Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts, and the UH-Mānoa Outreach Statewide Cultural Extension Program.
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In our current Indonesia Focus Year the UHM Asian Theatre Program will present a WayangListrik shadow-puppetry production. The initial period of instruction started in January, 2015 with Balinese guest artist Madé Widana and doctoral student Annie Reynolds in residence at UHM overseeing classes and workshops. They introduced students to Balinese dance, puppetry, and gamelan music.
For the show, students will be trained as dancers, actors, shadow casters, puppeteers, singers, musicians, and designers. For the second phase of training (Fall 2015), two additional artists from Bali will join the production team to collaborate during the rehearsal period. Mr. Ketut Wirtawan, a master dancer and puppeteer, and Mr. Madé Moja, a well-known designer and painter, will be responsible for creating the puppets, masks, and overall stage design.
The year-long training and rehearsal period will culminate in a Balinese Wayang Listrik show presented in January 22-31, 2016, at the UHM Kennedy Theatre. Outreach performances in the local community will follow the theatrical run.
What is Wayang Listrik?
Wayang Listrik is a modern Balinese theatre genre based on traditional shadow puppetry (wayang kulit) with accompanying dance and music, all transferred to a large 30 x 15 foot screen. The show comes alive with traditional carved leather puppets, shadow-actors, dancers, and gamelan music. The story we selected is entitled Subali-Sugriwa – Battle of the Money Kings, and is based on episodes from the Indian Ramayana, which has long been an important source of story material for Balinese theatre.
A new script has been composed by guest artist Ketut Wirtawan, who draws upon many years of experience as a traditional wayang kulit puppeteer and dancer.
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