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On Friday, November 30, 2018 Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music and puppeteer Sumarsam and the Wesleyan Gamelan Ensemble directed by Artist in Residence I.M. Harjito, with guest drummer Darsono, presented a Javanese wayang kulit, the puppet play employing intricately carved leather puppets, accompanied by an ensemble of tuned gongs, metallophones, two stringed fiddle, xylophone, drums, and vocalists.

Photos by Richard Marinelli. Click here to view the full album on Flickr.

On Thursday, November 29, 2018 Wesleyan student/faculty/staff/alumni/community collective AD HOC BACH presented the next installment of Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantatas: BWV 21, “Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis”

Photos by Richard Marinelli. Click here to view the full album on Flickr.

On Saturday, November 10, 2018 Yogyakarta Court Puppeteer Ki Gondo Suharno and the Court of Yogyakarta gamelan group, in collaboration with the Wesleyan Gamelan Ensemble, performed Wayang Golek, featuring three-dimensional puppets made of wood and cloth reenacting stories based on the Islamic story of Amir Hamzah.

Photos by Sandy Aldieri. Click here to view the full album on Flickr.

On Saturday, November 10, 2018 His Excellency Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X of Indonesia gave the keynote address for a symposium focusing on the dynamic interaction between the state and the Javanese ethnic group. There are hundreds of traditional performing arts in Indonesia, each associated with a specific ethnic group/sub-group and the geographical region that is the ethnic group’s homeland (e.g., the performing arts of Batak, Minangkabau, Aceh, Sunda, Central Java, East Java, Banyuwangi, etc.). The history of the Indonesian archipelago is one of myriad inter-cultural encounters between these groups alternately defined by geography, ethnic identity, and political affiliation. The processes of hybridization that have resulted have profoundly influenced Indonesian culture and attempts to shape Indonesian national identity. The performing arts play a primary role in articulating these interacting cultural, social, and political forces.

Photos by Sandy Aldieri. Click here to view the full album on Flickr.

 

On Friday, November 9, 2018 in conjunction with a visit from Hamengkubuwono X, the Sultan of Yogyakarta in Indonesia, Wesleyan University hosted a performance by the court dancers and musicians of Yogyakarta, featuring the instruments of the Wesleyan gamelan, one of the finest sets of the instruments in the world—mostly gong and metallophone instruments made of bronze—usually housed on campus in World Music Hall.

Photos by Richard Marinelli. Click here to view the full album on Flickr.

On Thursday, November 8, 2018 Keng Sen Ong discussed the complex crossings between traditional performance and contemporary art practices. How can curators develop a coherent approach that engages rather than avoids traditional body practices when presenting contemporary art? Examining archives and the “re-performance” turn, as well as referencing the fields of architecture and restoration, Ong charted a field of potentialities, continuums and interventions.

Photos by Richard Marinelli. Click here to view the full album on Flickr.

On Friday, October 5, 2018 New York City-based trans actor Becca Blackwell performed part classic standup comedy special, part teen zine vomit confessional, They, Themself and Schmerm (2015). The performance was a disturbingly hilarious personal tale of being adopted into a Midwestern religious family, trained to be a girl, molested, and plagued by the question, “How do I become a man and do I even want that?” The Connecticut premiere of this one-person show engaged in loving confrontation with the audience, asking what it truly means to be authentic.

Photos by Sandy Aldieri. Click here to view the full album on Flickr.

On Friday, October 26, 2018 visiting Assistant Professors Julie Mulvihill and Joya Powell presented Wrapped in Us, an evening of multidisciplinary, visceral, risk-taking and performance sharing.

In Composing Compromise: A Performance Collage, performers and audience traverse together, sharing choice and change. Together with the space and the audience, the performers explored in movement the act of becoming a group. Wesleyan student collaborators explored what holds us back and celebrate what brings us together as they ask the question: What if compromise is an act of discovery?

Hair Ties by Movement of the People Dance Company is a multidisciplinary, dance-theater piece inspired by America’s fear of Black power and beauty. Inspired by the Tignon Laws of the 1800s, this evocative work is a celebration of Black beauty, creativity, and ingenuity in the face of perpetual oppression. This work is a collaboration with Evelyn Green (videographer), Amina Henry (wordsmith), and Hair Ties interviewees.

Photos by Sandy Aldieri. Click here to view the full album on Flickr.

On Friday, October 26, 2018 one of America’s most adventurous string quartets, ETHEL featured Ralph Farris on viola, Kip Jones and Corin Lee on violin, and Dorothy Lawson on cello at Crowell Concert Hall. The group formed in New York City in 1998, and are heirs to the likes of the Kronos Quartet. At Wesleyan, they joined forces with GRAMMY Award-winning Taos Pueblo flutist and Native American instrument maker Robert Mirabal to present The River (2016), an evening of music inspired by water and its essential role in life on Earth.
ETHEL and Robert Mirabal discussed their collaboration, the making of The River, and play selections during a free lecture/demonstration on Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 4:30pm in Adzenyah Rehearsal Hall 003 (Daltry Room), 60 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown.

Photos by Richard Marinelli. Click here to view the full album on Flickr.

On Sunday, October 14, 2018 at Crowell Concert Hall, Mythili Prakash made her Connecticut debut to conclude the 42nd annual Navaratri Festival at Wesleyan. The dynamic Mythili Prakash began her career as a Bharata Natyam performer at the age of eight. Since 1990, she has toured as a soloist in the United Kingdom, Scotland, France, Singapore, the United States, and Mexico. Highly acclaimed for her virtuosic skill as a performer, she stays deeply rooted in the inherent spirituality of the art form, which is the driving inspiration of her choreographic explorations. She was also cast in the award-winning film Life of Pi (2012).

Photos by Richard Marinelli. Click here to view the full album on Flickr.

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