The return of wayang kulit


By VIVIENNE PALVivienne@thestar.com.myPhotos by AZMAN GHANI 

KELANTAN had long been known for itsmagical wayang kulit performances - ananomaly, really, considering that thetraditional cultural show was banned by thestate government for being “un-Islamic”. 

Recently, however, the Kumpulan Wayang Kulit Anak Seri Baju Merah did not have such trivial matters to worry about when they performed demonstrations at the foyer of the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) from Aug 28 to 30.  

The troupe is one of Malaysia's most accomplished, and had performed throughout Kelantan to great acclaim.  

An ancient tradition: Wayang kulit is a spectacular artform that runs the risk of fadingaway if there is no proper support.

Steered by Dalang Saupi Isa, the tok dalang, and master musician Abdul Rahman Dollah, the troupe had been giving passers-by 30- minute tastes of Kelantan for three days.  

The demonstration was a prelude to the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) Meets Wayang Kulit performance at DFP from Aug 31 to Sept 2 in conjunction with Merdeka as well as DFP's 10th year anniversary. 

Informationcorner: Therewas also anexhibition thatprovidedvisitors a betterinsight intowayang kulit.

It was MPO's first performance with a wayang kulit troupe in an East-meets-West presentation of folklore and fantasy.  

They presented Empunya Yang Beroleh Sita Dewi, an original composition by Malaysian composer Adeline Wong, a finalist of the MPO Forum for Malaysian Composers in 2003.  

The concert was led by MPO principal conductor Matthias Bamert.  

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