Gamelan Ensemble Performs Live during Javanese Shadow Puppet Play

Olivia DrakeApril 25, 20222min
clown scene-wayang & gamelan stage

It’s been almost three years since the Wesleyan Gamelan Ensemble was able to perform in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But on April 21, the group, directed by University Professor of Music Harjito, played to a full house in World Music Hall as part of a Javanese shadow puppet play.

The puppet play, called “Wayang Kulit” was directed by puppet master (dhalang) and Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music Sumarsam.

The play was attended by a distinguished guest, Arifi Saiman, Consul General of Indonesia in New York, and his guests. Saiman presented a brief speech and provided the performers with Indonesian cuisine.

“Overall, it was a memorable and successful concert, marking the normalcy of cultural activity on campus,” Sumarsam said.

(Photos and video by Aaron Bittel)

“Tonights Story”

“Battle scene”

Performer, audience, Consul General and his entourage
The Gamelan Ensemble, Sumarsam, and guests gathered for a group photo following the play. The last last “Wayang Kulit” puppet play was in November 2018.
The wife of Consul General presented a bouquet to the puppeteer
Consul General Arifi Saiman and his wife presented a bouquet of flowers to Sumarsam.