From the Archives: Ramayana, Gongs of Truth

February 23, 2013 | Events Archive

401df64f2fca0-79-1A unique presentation was made in 2004 at the University of Michigan, a live music and dance performance of the epic “Ramayana”, entitled “The Gongs of Truth.”  Telling the story of the prince Rama, having been banished to the forest, the Ramayana depicts Rama and his brother saving the lovely Sinta from the demon-king. The performance, cosponsored by the International Institute at the University of Michigan, drew an audience of thousands, and presented the epic tale with a cast of more than 40 dancers and performers displaying traditional Indonesian dance movements and the movements of Pencak Silat, traditional Indonesian arts.  Bapak Waleed of the International Silat Federation of American and Indonesia and Wasi Bantolo, of the Javanese conservatory Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia collaborated on the choreography.  The event was covered by the Michigan Daily and other local media.  It was the first event to be held in the newly refurbished and remodeled Hill Auditorium at the University of Michigan, and had a sold-out crowd of more than 3,000.

Image caption: Matheus Wasi Bantolo plays Rahwana at Hill Auditorium in “Gongs of Truth, The Ramayana: Javanese Gamelan Dance Drama.”

Credit: EUGENE ROBERTSON/Michigan Daily

Click to visit the event recap from the International Silat Federation archives, including pictures from the sold-out performance and from rehearsals.


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We are the local New Haven, CT branch of the International Silat Federation of America and Indonesia, dedicated to sharing the traditional arts, culture, music, theater, and natural wellness methods of the Minangkabau community of West Sumatra, Indonesia.