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A Special Performance for Schools

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The Ramayana
An Ancient Epic of Bali told through Puppetry, Dance, and Music

Ramayana shadow puppets

This special performance of the great Hindu epic the Ramayana was developed for schools by Dr. Robert E. Brown of the Center for World Music.  It featured I Nyoman Sumandhi, Balinese master puppeteer, musician, and dancer, and his wife, Putu Sutiati, Balinese dancer and dance teacher. Pak Sumandhi and Ibu Sutiati were the Center's Year 2000 artists in residence. Performing with the Sumandhis were Kaori Okado, dance and Balinese music, and Alex Khalil, Balinese music.  Dr. Brown, president of the Center and ethnomusicologist, was narrator.

NOTE: This program is currently not available. Thanks for your interest.


The 45-minute presentation opened with a welcome dance performed by Putu Sutiati and Kaori Okado in traditional costume, accompanied by the Balinese gender wayang (metallophone) ensemble Ni Putu Sutiati with Kaori Khalil
Robert Brown, as narrator, then introduced shadow puppets representing the five most important characters from the Ramayana, which tells the much-loved story of Prince Rama and his wife Sita, their exile from their kingdom, and their struggle to overcome evil.  
Sumandhi performing for the Center for World Music As the story was enacted in dance and puppetry, accompanied by live Balinese music, students witnessed the main scenes of the epic, in which--after many adventures--good finally triumphs.
Following the program was a question and answer period, during which demonstrations of puppet manipulation, music, and dance movements were given. Gender wayang demo for students
Back Stage at the Ramayana

After the discussion, students were invited back behind the puppet screen to see the puppets, puppeteer, and musical instruments up close.

The program provided an engaging introduction to Balinese culture and its world famous performing arts through music, dance, puppetry, and epic mythology. It gave students a rare opportunity to experience a dalang (master puppeteer) of Pak Sumandhi’s caliber, who brings the ancient epic stories to life.


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Teaching Aids for the Ramayana Schools Presentation

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Bali Arts Festival

Modified: September 1, 2010