Event: Gamelan Kusuma Laras, December 11 & 12

November 29, 2010


Several months ago, I finally got up the nerve to seriously pursue my interest in learning to play gamelan, which is a kind of Indonesian percussion ensemble that makes a distinct and hauntingly beautiful music. By great good fortune (thanks to Rachel Cooper, director of programming at the Asia Society), I found my way to Gamelan Kusuma Laras (above) and have been studying and rehearsing with this group, which takes its repertoire from Javanese gamelan (specifically from Solo in Central Java). And now I’m getting the chance to perform with the group in two concerts at the Indonesian Consulate on East 68th Street. As a beginner, I will be playing on only one number but singing on three others (in a large chorus — in ancient Javanese!). Please come!

Gamelan Kusuma Laras
New York City’s Premier Javanese Gamelan Ensemble
Presents Music and Dance of Central Java

Directed by I.M. Harjito
with Triwik Harjito and Shoko Yamamura, Guest Dancers

Saturday, December 11 at 8 pm
Sunday, December 12 at 3 pm

Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia
5 East 68th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues
Suggested Donation: $20

Tickets may be reserved by contacting nygamelan@gmail.com

Originally formed 26 years ago, Gamelan Kusuma Laras has entranced audiences in the United States and  Indonesia with its authentic performances of music, dance and theater from the classical repertoire of the courts of Central Java.

The ensemble has been active in the New York City cultural scene since its inception, performing at the Arts at St. Ann’s in Brooklyn, the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, Symphony Space, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Bronx Zoo of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Bard College, Vassar College, Wesleyan University, Princeton University, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Cooper Hewitt Museum, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival, and the Jogjakarta International Gamelan Festival, to name a few.

For this concert, Triwik Harjito and Shoko Yamamura will be performing Adaninggar Kelaswara, a Javanese dance that depicts a duel between two female warriors: Adaninggar, a Chinese princess, and Kelaswara, a Javanese princess.

“…shifting timbres that floated and surged in a mesmerizing flow”
-The New York Post

“…a skilled ensemble…a treat to watch.”
-The New York Times

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