Balinese Mask Dance
and Shadow Puppet Theater
I Gusti Ngurah Kertayuda
Join us for a performance of Balinese music, dance, and shadow play by dance master I Gusti Ngurah Kertayuda, embedded in an immersive performance of animated sounds from Bali and Sumatra by Bill Parod.
Who is not totally captivated when experiencing Balinese art and culture, whether music, dance, painting, carving, or the grace and blessing of everyday life there? We are fortunate to have such artistry here in Chicago with Balinese dance master, I Gusti Ngurah Kertayuda. His performance tonight is especially rare in featuring him in Topeng (mask dance), Wayang Kulit (shadow play), and in the vocal and instrumental performance of all the gamelan parts heard in tonight's music.
The performance will open with an immersive collage of Balinese village and festival life, followed by a live Topeng dance performance before presenting the Wayang Kulit performance of Yudha Hati.
Wayang Kulit is Balinese shadow play of myriad characters - animal, human, mortal, and immortal - silhouetted behind a translucent screen representing the boundary between earth and spirit. The characters' dialog is spoken and sung in Sanskrit from the poetry of The Mahabharata and The Ramayana epics, with extemporaneous comments in Indonesian, Balinese, and occasional English.
An expansive cast of gods, birds, monkeys, and environmental forces are heard with recorded Balinese gamelan and vocals in this 16-channel, spatially animated forest drama.
Yudha Hati means fighting with heart through joy, sadness, and death. This story is from the Sanskrit epic Ramayana and tells of the conflict between rival brothers Sugriva and Subali. Eldest brother, Subali is ruler of the forest kingdom of Kishkindha until his extended disappearance and presumed death in a cave battle with the demon Mayavi. Sugriva, younger brother of Subali is saddened but assumes the throne and takes Subali’s wife, Tara. When Subali returns, he will not accept any explanation from Sugriva and a war is begun between the brothers. The turmoil the ongoing war inflicts on the forest animals draws the attention of allied gods Rama and Hanuman. Rama agrees to vanquish Subali in order to restore peace to the kingdom. Hanuman places a garland on Sugriva so that Rama can distinguish the brothers in battle. Rama kills Subali with a magic arrow. Though the antagonist, Subali’s death is still a painful loss to all, but peace is gradually restored to the kingdom.
Opening in forest kingdom of Kishkindha
Meeting of Rama, Lakshmana, Malen, Merdah, and Hanuman
Opening prayer offered by the Dalang
Malen and Merdeh ask Rama and Lakshmana what can be done about the turmoil in the forest
Delem and Sangut, assistants to Subali, observe
War between Subali and Sugriwa breaks out
All the forest animals are afraid
The war subsides and a graceful bird, offers the song of a flute in the moment's peace
War resumes between Sugriva and Subali and their monkey forces
Rama, in the climax, enters and shoots Subali with a powerful bow and arrow
The war is over but all is sadness because Subali is dead
The Dalang offers a prayer
Peace is restored to the kingdom
Mr. Kertayuda recorded the instrumental and vocal parts for Yudha Hati with recording engineer, Alex Inglizian at Experimental Sound Studio during 2020 and 2021. The soundtrack was presented initially at the 30-channel SONIC PAVILION FESTIVAL 2021 in The Jay Pritzker Pavilion of Millennium Park, Chicago. A video of that project is below. We are very excited, with the reopening of Elastic, to perform this piece with live shadow play.
I Gusti Ngurah Kertayuda is one of Bali's most respected master dancers and the director of Indonesian Dance of Illinois. His charismatic performances have been well received throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States. A graduate of the National Performing Arts Institute (KOKAR) in Denpasar, Indonesia, he is well versed in the many forms of traditional dance and music from Indonesia. For more information: Indonesian Dance of Illinois.
Bill Parod is a composer, violinist, and software developer who works on their integration with interactive game technology, spatial audio, and mobile app delivery to create spontaneous and immersive music. For more information: earful.be
Friday, May 13, 2022 8:00pm
3429 W Diversey Ave, 2nd Fl
Chicago, IL 60647 USA
Rama - god and avatar of principal deity, Vishnu.
Lakshmana - Younger brother of Rama.
Hanuman - Monkey god, devotee of Rama, and leader of the monkey army; often heard with ankle bells.
Subali (r) - Monkey king of Kishkinda until his presumed death in battle with demon Mayavi.
Sugriva (l) - Younger brother of Subali; Successor ruler of Kishkinda after Subali’s presumed death.
Punokawan - servant-clowns / court-jesters
Malen (l) - A noble elderly man, with jokes and sage advice. Assistant to Rama.
Merdah (r) - Son of Malen and servant of Rama.
Delem (l) - Son of Malen, sneaky and arrogant, servant of Subali.
Sangut (r) - Son of Malen, servant of Subali.