Music & Public Life
Symposia and Colloquia
Indonesian Performing Arts & Public Life Symposium
Thursday, April 25 through Saturday, April 27, 2013
World Music Hall
Indonesian wayang (puppet play), dance, and gamelan (an orchestra of bronze gongs, xylophones, drums, and string instruments) a have been part of American public life since the 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. Since then, countless Indonesian performing arts have appeared throughout North America, such as the 1952 tours of Balinese dance and gamelan, Indonesian performances in the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the 1986 World’s Fair in Vancouver, and many others. Alongside the burgeoning of ethnomusicology, the 1960s marked the spread of gamelan study and performances on American campuses. This symposium will feature Kathy Foley, Professor of Theatre Arts at the University of California Santa Cruz (where she is Interim Provost of Merrill College), speaking on the presence of Southeast Asian puppetry in the West; and Sarah Weiss, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at Yale University, who will speak about past and present hybridity in gamelan and wayang. In addition, Wesleyan University Professor of Music Sumarsam will speak on wayang and technology, and address electricity in contemporary Javanese wayang performance. A series of wayang and gamelan performances directed by Wesleyan Artist in Residence I.M. Harjito will be an integral part of the symposium.