Tamara and the Shadow Theatre of Java
In Indonesia, the Hindu God Vishnu comes to Earth in the disguise of a mortal and battles an evil, ten-headed ogre. Srikandi, an assertive female character, earns her husband’s wrath for being too independent and outspoken. These stories and others are told through Indonesia’s time-honored, exquisitely beautiful shadow theatre called “Wayang Kulit”. Rooted in the ancient belief that ancestors’ spirits return to earth at night, inhabiting the puppets’ shadows, the dalang (shadow master) casts his puppets’ shadows on the illuminated story cloth. He makes them dance, fly, wander, fight, grieve, triumph and love. He speaks for each of his puppets in different voices, retelling ancient stories about the cycle of life, reincarnation and the forces of good and evil, the good always triumphant! Performed in temple yards or village squares, the average wayang play lasts from sunset to dawn without intermission.