By TERENCE TOH
To start off the New Year, why not try watching a show of a different kind? Instead of going to a movie or a play, why not try enjoying some wayang kulit: the classic art of shadow puppetry that has been delighting people for generations?
Stop by Dataran Medan Pasar in Kuala Lumpur and take a seat at Malam Wayang: a free all-night wayang kulit performance on Jan 2. The show is organised by ThinkCity and DBKL in partnership with Lab DNA and Pusaka, and sponsored by Citi Foundation.
Malam Wayang will start with Wayang Nana dan Ah Lu, by ACX Productions, which starts at 8.30pm. The show, which is in Mandarin with subtitles, tells the story of a clever little elf named Nana and her best friend Ah Lu. They get into a fantastic adventure after finding a rainbow mushroom that is the gem of the forest. There will also be an opening performance with the guzheng by Regal Orchestra.
The night will continue with Wayang Kulit Sri Warisan Pusaka from 9pm to midnight. This Kelantanese show will be performed by Kumpulan Wayang Kulit Sri Warisan Pusaka, which is widely considered as one of the most accomplished troupes in Malaysia.
The troupe, which hails from Machang, Kelantan, was founded by the late Tok Dalang Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollah Baju Merah), who was renowned for his dexterity and subtlety as well as his provocative presentation of “irreverent” wayang.
Wayang kulit (shadow-play) is a form of traditional theatre found throughout South-East Asia in which the shadows of carved leather puppets are projected onto a screen. In Malaysia, the most well-known style of wayang kulit is the wayang kulit Siam, where the puppets are intricately carved and painted two-dimensional figures made from leather. The character types include hero, heroine, warrior, clown, ogre, and magician.
Malam Wayang takes place from 8.30pm on Jan 2 at Dataran Medan Pasar, Jalan Lebuh Pasar in Kuala Lumpur. Admission is free. Browse “Malam Wayang” on Facebook.
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