A single note can resonate over a thousand years, across vast continents, from ancient civilizations into modern times. Ninth-century Hindu-Javanese traditions blend with contemporary Balinese culture in wayang kulit, a mystical art form that combines shadow play with music and dance, celebration and entertainment.
From the remote village of Sukawati, the birthplace of an historic dynasty of shadow masters and musicians, comes puppeteer I Wayan Mardika Bhuana, accompanied by Bapak I Wayan Loceng and I Wayan Suprapta. Together this trio brings epic battles to life, set to intensely frenetic music that is considered the most intricate and technically difficult music in all of Bali.
Presented in partnership with the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia.
I Wayan Mardika Bhuana is a very talented young dalang (shadow play puppeteer). Born in 1972, he is now 32 or 33 years old. Mardika is the son of I Ketut Madra, the most famous dalang in Bali’s history. Mardika has been performing for many years, and he is one of the few who can perform a Balinese shadow play using the English language. He is a charming and adept performer who is sure to win the hearts of his audiences. He is currently performing on tour in Japan and will arrive in Canada in late August for performances in Calgary and Vancouver.
Bapak I Wayan Loceng is the most renowned shadow play musician in all of Bali, Indonesia. He has been cited in all of the publications on the Balinese shadow play and music, including Brita Heimarck, Balinese Discourses on Music and Modernization: Village Voices and Urban Views (Routledge, 2003), Michael Tenzer, Balinese Music (Periplus Editions, 1991), and Mary Zurbuchen, The Language of Balinese Shadow Theater (Princeton University Press, 1987). Loceng has taught for years at the Indonesian College of the Arts STSI in Denpasar, Bali, and he has instructed students from all over the world at his home in Sukawati, Bali.
I Wayan Suprapta is the youngest son of Bapak I Wayan Loceng, and he has grown up always surrounded by gender wayang music (the metallophone quartet that accompanies the shadow play). Suprapta performs regularly accompanying the dalang Mardika and he is performing in Japan as well. Suprapta is an intelligent and very proficient musician.
The village of Sukawati is the center for the shadow play tradition, with an unusual abundance of shadow play musicians, dalangs, and puppet makers. Loceng, Mardika, and Suprapta all represent the Sukawati shadow play tradition and they come from an extended family of shadow masters and musicians that extends back six generations.