Wayang for the World.


Pada tanggal 26 Nopember 2013 di Jakarta penerbit The Lontar Foundation Jakarta bersama dengan Bapak Ki Purbo Asmoro dan Ibu Kathryn Emerson mengumumkan terbitnya Paket Pendidikan Wayang ( Wayang Educational Package ) di dalam suatu acara yang dinamai Wayang for the World.

Mengacu ke publikasi resmi laman dan akun Facebook The Lontar Foundation berikut ini diwartakan kembali acara tersebut.


Ki Purbo Asmoro, Kathryn Emerson, John McGlynn, Wayang for the World, Wayang Educational Package, Makutharama, Sesaji Raja Suya, The Lontar Foundation

Ki Purbo Asmoro, Kathryn Emerson, John McGlynn, Wayang for the World, Wayang Educational Package, Makutharama, Sesaji Raja Suya, The Lontar Foundation


Tampak dalam foto di atas :

Paling kanan adalah Bapak John McGlynn sebagai Pimpinan The Lontar Foundation yang menerbitkan Wayang Educational Package.

Paling kiri adalah Bapak Ki Purbo Asmoro, dalang wayang kulit purwa Jawa yang enam pakelirannya dipakai sebagai acuan transkripsi / penulisan Wayang Educational Package.

Di tengah adalah Ibu Kathryn Emerson, seorang pemerhati wayang kulit purwa Jawa, sebagai penggerak utama program ini sekaligus sebagai penulis transkripsi berbahasa Jawa serta menerjemahkannya ke dalam Bahasa Inggris.


Lebih banyak foto menggambarkan acara Wayang for the World serta Konferensi Pers nya bisa dilihat di akun Facebook The Lontar Foundation :

Wayang for the World

Konferensi Pers Wayang for the World



Berikut ini mengacu ke akun Ibu Kathryn Emerson dan surat kabar The Jakarta Post. Tulisan mengenai acara tersebut serta Wayang Educational Package.


Out of The Shadows



Words: Kindra Cooper
Photos Courtesy of The Lontar Foundation


Scholarly material on wayang (shadow puppets) has traditionally been limited to text-only or audiovisual-only material, when to understand the theater art requires the eyes, the ears and the heart.

The recently launched Wayang for the World is an educational package designed for both initiates and connoisseurs that chronicles the developments of wayang over time. Changes to its dramatic structure – from classical all-night performances involving lengthy court scenes and delayed revelation of plotlines, to cut-to-the-chase condensed versions – illustrate how the art has survived modernization while maintaining its essence.

The fundamentals of wayang –  hailed a masterpiece of intangible heritage by UNESCO – entail largely unscripted dialogue (requiring puppeteers to be ad lib-proficient), entertainment interludes and court scenes of decision-making between monarchs and policymakers regarding a socio-economic issue (be it poverty, disease, terrorism or corruption) that forms the root of the narrative – universal themes that have enabled wayang to transcend generations.

“We hope that this educational program can benefit not only Indonesia but the world – especially the young generation, who will continue our legacy,” Eko Suhartono, senior operator at Total E&P Indonesia, said at the launching ceremony at The Energy Building on Jl. Sudirman on Nov. 26.



The six volumes in the educational package contain the unedited dialogue, narration, and stage directions from six live performances by star puppeteer Ki Purbo Asmoro, transcribed and translated from Javanese into English by American translator-transcriptionist Kathryn Emerson and translated into Indonesian by two professors from Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) in Solo; while a seventh tome documents the gamelan accompaniment for all six performances.

“And that’s why this is all educational. If you’ve read any other lakon (episode) that has been transcribed or published, the publisher’s taken a lot of liberties with the text and they’ve turned them into a more western dramatic structure,” John McGlynn, the project’s publisher and fundraiser and chairman for the Lontar Foundation, told The Jakarta Post.

The project highlights a third, newer dramatic structure pioneered by Purbo Asmoro called contemporary-interpretive, that reconciles elements of the classical style no longer palatable to some modern audiences (plotlines are revealed only after a series of hours-long court scenes, for example) and unpopular elements of the condensed style, where every scene too short and clipped. Asmoro’s reinterpreted all-night performances reveal the central issue and main character upfront, thereby retaining the focus of the condensed versions, while still retaining the court scenes and comedic interludes. According to the books, contemporary-interpretive style or garapan was used in 90 percent of performances in Surakarta by 2007.

Purbo Asmoro selected two landmark lakon (episodes) for the comparative study of the condensed, classical and contemporary-interpretive styles: Sesaji Raja Suya (The Grand Offering of the Kings) and Makutharama (Rama’s Crown) based on the Indian epic Mahabharata concerning a feud between two families vying for control of the kingdom of Astina.

“He chose these two because Rama’s Crown is the story that dalang (puppet master) educational institutions have always used. So ever since the 1920s, if you were a studying dalang your first-year program was to master Mahkutharama,” explained Emerson. “And he chose [The Grand Offering of the Kings] because it was close to the Indian original.”



John McGlynn

The accompanying videos in the educational package, containing subtitles in Indonesian and English, show puppeteer Purbo Asmoro in action, filmed by three cameras, one behind the dalang and gamelan, one on the shadow side of the screen scarcely observed today and another roving.

“Asmoro himself has created many innovations which have changed the wayang world, but this is a real look at a section of his career and a section in the history of wayang,” explained Emerson, noting that the six performances, taking place over one year, enable an up-close comparative study of wayang’s three distinct dramatic structures.

“[Asmoro] was a good choice for this documentation because he’s kind of between generations,” concurred McGlynn. “He learned the old style and is one of the pioneers of the new.”





Ki Purbo Asmoro


Wayang Educational Package published by The Lontar Foundation, Jakarta / Paket Pendidikan Wayang terbitan The Lontar Foundation, Jakarta

Wayang Educational Package published by The Lontar Foundation, Jakarta / Paket Pendidikan Wayang terbitan The Lontar Foundation, Jakarta



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