Looking for adventure and travel this thanksgiving weekend? No time to visit Southeast Asia or Indonesia? Without funds to see the great culture that produced the Borobudur or Prambanan Temple? Ever wonder what a Sultan would choreograph for his own delight and spiritual fulfillment?
Just drive to the center of town this Saturday to the Aratani Theatre, Little Tokyo and see the visual musical splendor of CUP of JAVA.
Last week ten of Java’s most accomplished dancers performed with the University of Hawaii Gamelan to standing ovations and rave reviews. Now they have come to Los Angeles to share the stage with a twenty five member gamelan group from Cal Arts.
The majestic sounds of the largest caste bronze gongs in the world are surrounded by bronze keyed sarons, drums, rebab and vocal chorus. At times spacious and mysterious, the gamelan can also resound with confident proclamations, the range of feeling has been called be Andre Segovia as “The music of the spheres.”
There is good reason Cal Arts has offered Javanese Gamelan for the past forty years and there is also good reason Javanese Gamelan is enormous academic interest. Attend the CUP of JAVA and see why talented American artists perform a musical form little know in the West.
See if you agree that the dance of Central Java ranks among the greatest artistic expressions of the world. It is well documented that the Sultans of Java choreographed and wrote music as visualizations that represent the balance and imbalance of this world. Always searching for deep metaphor, dance seeks not only technical perfection, but spiritual perfection as well.
In the CUP of JAVA concert of November 29th you will travel to this world and witness dance ranging from grace and quietude to the roar of battle. See if you agree with LA Times Dance Critic Emeritus Lewis Segal when he says, ““The notion that ballet is the most aristocratic and refined of dance forms will take another hit on November 29 when classical dancers from Central Java perform at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo. Imagine dancers gliding through clouds or drifting underwater all in perfect unison. That’s what you’ll find along with an array of gleaming costumes and sparkling gamelan musicianship…. it is the highest expression of an ancient culture and we can definitely learn important lessons from its serenity and perfect form.”
One highlight of this program will be one of Java’s most cherished stories, the meeting of Karna and Arjuna in the epic battle as told in the Mahabharata. With original music by Anon Suneka and choroeography by Bambang Pujasworo this work has a dynamic range befitting such a classic tale.
Considered sacred by the Javanese, dancers and musicians make offerings to ensure a successful performance, and in doing so safeguard themselves and bring insight and wisdom to all who are witnesses.
With supertitles to assist the non Javanese speaker, this drama will ask the most profound questions of human existence: the nature of loyalty, the ties of blood brothers, the love of a mother, the pain of victory, and the ultimate search for balance in the world.
Join in a post performance reception honoring this the last concert of ISI Yogyakarta’s international tour.
A Call to Action
We hope you will join us for our inaugural concert, Cup of Java on November 29, 2014. Without funds for mass marketing we ask for your help by using the power of social media to spread the word or our series to like minded people.
Anon Suneka, Music Director of Cup of Java
“It’s very important for me, for the young generation, to understand the Javanese culture through the study of classical dance and gamelan music.” — Anon Suneka