ISI Denpasar | Institutional Repository

The Theft of Sita

I Made, Sidia, SSP., M.Sn (2011) The Theft of Sita. Documentation. ISI Denpasar.

Full text not available from this repository.


The premiere performance of Theft of Sita took place at the Adelaide Festival in March this year. It was an outdoor performance set among huge old Moreton Bay figs, beautifully lit against the black night sky. The audience sat in rows of steep bleachers looking down on a square of wooden staging. Ten musicians, five of them Balinese gamelan players and five from the Australian Art Orchestra, took their places. Five puppeteers, a Balinese dalangand four Australians, emerged onto the stage and lit the screen light or damar. A large fabric screen descended from above at the front of the stage and we were in the enchanted forest of creation. Before us lay the idealised classical landscape of the ancient Ramayana story, complete with shadow puppets of the lovely Sita, her princely lover Rama, and their farting, chatting servant/ clown companions Tualen and Merdah, the latter a father and son pair from the Balinese wayang kulit known aspunakawan. A range of whimsical and funny animal shadow puppets pass across the screen. But there is always trouble in paradise. Sita is captured by the giant demon Rahwana and carried off to his kingdom of Langka. Then huge logging machines invade the forest and begin demolishing trees... This Ramayana begins conventionally, but quickly explodes into a metaphor of the tumultuous events surrounding the overthrow of Suharto. Computer-generated images and photographic projections of demonstrations coexist with giant shadow puppet logging beasts. There are white water rafters and withering paddy fields in Bali. And Langka becomes a futuristic city of gleaming steel and glass towers, and of rubbish tips. Giant screens lift and disappear, perspective shifts from screens at the front to screens at the back of the stage. Shadow puppets emerge on tiny screens in the middle of the space and then shift again.

Item Type: Monograph (Documentation)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Faculty > Performing Arts Faculty > Puppetry Department
Depositing User: Mrs Dwi Gunawati
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2012 04:04
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2012 04:04

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item