Balinese Shadow Puppetry

Connor Mahoney
September 30, 2013

In class this week, we learned about and had to become an expert in a certain aspect in Balinese shadow puppetry. We were assigned into groups of three and my groups topic was the design of shadow puppetry. This consisted of how the puppets are used, the design of the puppets, the stage/set design, and the time of day that the performances would be consisted of. In order to present our information to the class, my group and I used both a poster and a power point. I presented about the set design.

The set design was heavily weighed upon the kelir (screen) and damar (oil lamp) to portray the puppets. The puppets are put on bamboo poles and the puppets symbolize life on earth. The kelir is held at the base by the gedebong (banana log) where the puppets are store as symbolic figures on earth. The props are cut out attached to the puppets. The audience is separated from the cross-legged dalang by a large white cloth (kelir), about 6 feet in length, bordered in black at the top and bottom and with red squares at the side. These are just a few fact that I learned while researching about the set design in Balinese shadow puppetry.

Our shadow puppetry performance went very well. Our puppets consisted of a caterpillar, two wolves, a doctor, a woman, and a man. The plot line consist of how when you do good acts for others, they will do good acts for you in return. We had little music, but only used it when it was necessary and used one simple light though out the show. Overall, I think our group worked very well together and performed a great performance.

Les Miserables Character

In the show choir I'm a part of, we competed with a medley from Les Miserables. In order to compete in a serious matter, each performer became a character that they created with certain back story of each cast members certain character. I used techniques created by Stanislavski in order to prepare for our competition. I gave my character a conscious and subconscious objectives.

Gaston was a teen age boy who was an orphan. The only way that Gaston and his best friends could live was by stealing food to eat. Gaston, his little sister, and twin brother were sent to jail for stealing food and his brother got the death penalty for trying to escape. Gaston's action became I grieve for the lost of my brother. His conscious objective was I must protect my sister and subconscious objective was to avenge my brothers death. Gaston meets a girl who changes his action to I'll do anything for her. By the end of the medley, she is about to be killed for rebelling against the army until Gaston hops in front of the bullet. The last song is Gaston coming back as a ghost in hope that some day the revolution will be over and all people will be equal.

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