Arts & Events

Around & About Theater & Music: ShadowLight & Gamelan Musicians Stage Free Balinese Shadowplay Saturday Night on UC Berkeley Campus

By Ken Bullock
Friday March 07, 2014 - 01:42:00 PM

Larry Reed, American dalang (shadowmaster) extraordinaire, and his 40-year old company ShadowLight will stage a free Balinese shadowplay, "The Marriage Contest for the Hand of Princess Tatewati," a tale from the Mahabharata, with gamelan musicians Carla Fabrizio, Lisa Gold, Paul Millar and Sarah Willner, sponsored by the UC Berkeley Department of Music and the department of Southeast Asian studies, this Saturday night, 8-9 p. m. at Morrison Hall, 125 Elkus Room, on the UC campus. Information: or call 642-2678.  

ShadowLight's most recent original show was over a weekend in mid-January at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Entitled 'Poro Oyna: Myth of the Aynu,' it featured collaborators in music, dance and shadow-acting among the silhouettes of puppets by Japanese and Aynu--indigenous people of northern Japan (Hokkaido) and Russia (Sakhalin Island) in a story taken from the 2000 year old Aynu culture's mythology..  

It was a unique event and an exceptional performance--almost outdone by a post-performance special treat: a meeting between the Aynu women dancers and their musician and a band of Yurok singers-dancers-drummers from Northwest California, trading off songs, the Aynu in their very rare language (fewer than a dozen native speakers left), the Yuroks performing as brilliantly in their tradition as any Native American troupe I've ever seen. Another great moment of intercultural artistry, thanks to Larry Reed and ShadowLight.