Prince Claus fund supports performance of I La Galigo
The Prince Claus fund will be supporting the performances of
the Indonesian music-theatre production I La Galigo in Indonesia
because of the importance of this piece to the cultural heritage
of the people of Sulawesi.
The music-theatre production I La Galigo by director Robert Wilson
will experience its European premiere on Wednesday, 12 May 2004
in the Muziektheater in Amsterdam. This theatrical event is based
on the Sureq Galigo, an epic poem of the Bugis, a people in South
Sulawesi. The poem, probably written between the fourteenth and
seventeenth centuries, is about the creation of the world and the
first six generations of its inhabitants. Although the epos is
not widely known, it is considered one of the masterpieces of world
Indonesian dancer Restu Kusumaningrum drew the attention of theatre-maker
Robert Wilson to the epos together with anthropologist Rhoda Grauer,
who took responsibility for the dramaturgy. Wilson contacted Change
Performing Arts in Milan, Italy, an organisation that has been
working with artists such as Peter Greenaway and Philip Glass for
more than ten years. The dancers in the production were selected
via the Purnati Center for Arts in Bali, and have differing ethnical
backgrounds. Specialists including Indonesian historian Prof. Dr.
Fachruddin Ambo Enre also made a careful study of the texts and
the cultural context of I La Galigo.
Indonesia knows little of its cultural traditions outside of
Java and Bali. This is one of the reasons why the Prince Claus
fund is supporting the performances in Indonesia and on Sulawesi
at the end of 2004.