Esplanade Presents

Dance

Wayang Wong

Eka Suwara Santhi, Gamelan Pinda Sari and Sanggar Langlang Jagat (Singapore, Indonesia)

12 Apr 2024, Fri, 8pm & 9.30pm

14 Apr 2024, Sun, 8.15pm

1hr

(Intermission: None)

Esplanade Forecourt Garden

Free
Synopsis

Wayang Wong (wayang: shadow/puppet; wong: man) is an ornate court dance-drama, whose origins can be traced back to the East Javanese Majapahit kingdom. The fall of the Majapahit Empire in 1478 AD saw a migration of its population to Bali, bringing along its culture and arts, one of which was wayang wong.

 

The aesthetic and music of wayang wong is similar to that of wayang kulit (shadow puppetry): it is usually accompanied by a large-scale court gamelan orchestra, with narrative material taken from the Hindu epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Instead of shadow puppets on a screen, human dancers act out the story through ‘two-dimensional’ movements that imitate the left-right movement of shadow puppets. 

 

The performance of wayang wong is a sacred heritage in Tejakula, Northern Bali: original masks from the 16th century are kept in the Pemaksan Temple, and taken out only for the sacred performance, which takes place on a particular day of the calendar (those performing in commercial performances use duplicate masks).

 

In sacred performances, performers are chosen based on their lineage, their ancestors having made a pact to serve the temple and holy spirits through dance. The performers have to be multi-talented, and are required to learn the dance routines of their specific character, the dialogue and singing, all of which are in the ancient Javanese language of Kawi. 

 

Contrary to the seriousness that one might expect from ritual theatre, the element of comedy is integral to the performance. Performances begin with a preface by two comedic characters, usually stock characters such as a prime minister, a clown, or an old man, before the actual wayang wong

 

Catch three different Wayang Wong dramas from the Ramayana performed at A Tapestry of Sacred Music 2024: The Abduction of Sita, Subali and Sugriwa, and Hanuman the messenger.

 

12 Apr, Fri 

8pm: The Abduction of Sita 

9.30pm: The Fight between Subali and Sugriwa

 

14 Apr, Sun 

8.15pm: Hanuman the Messenger 

Language: Balinese, Indonesian and English
Things to Note:
Accessibility Advisory: We provide a range of access services and relaxed performances for patrons with access needs. For wheelchair-accessible seats, please call Esplanade Customer Experience at 6828 8377 for assistance. Concessions for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and up to one accompanying companion are available. | View our accessibility guide
Artist Information

Eka Suwara Santhi

Website

Eka Suwara Santhi was established in 2014 and is Singapore’s only Balinese dance group. It performs a variety of Balinese dances ranging from traditional and ancient pieces to modern choreographies. Eka Suwara Santhi also conducts dance and movement workshops from basic to advanced levels. They also conduct lectures and talks on Balinese dance and its cultural and historical associations.

Sanggar Langlang Jagat

Sanggar Langlang Jagat was set up by I Made Suteja, a well-known dancer in Batuan, Bali. Also known as the Kaki Bebek House group, after Suteja's home studio, Sanggar Langlang Jagat performs traditional Balinese dances in the classic Batuan style. The group also conducts classes and workshops for adult learners and children. 

Gamelan Pinda Sari

Led by maestro drummer I Nyoman Kariasa from the Indonesian Institute of Fine Arts (ISI) in Denpasar, Bali, Gamelan Pinda Sari is well-known in Bali for its exuberant playing style. The musicians are all villagers from Pinda in Bali and have performed in Singapore on several occasions.

Date & Time

12 Apr 2024, Fri

8pm

Esplanade Forecourt Garden
The Abduction of Sita

9.30pm

Esplanade Forecourt Garden
The Fight between Subali and Sugriwa

14 Apr 2024, Sun

8.15pm

Esplanade Forecourt Garden
Hanuman the Messenger
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