Danny Yee >> Diary

November 2001

Cultural Exchange

Last month I saw The Theft of Sita. This is a Balinese shadow puppet performance, but done using high-tech lighting and special effects and accompanied by music that fuses elements of Balinese gamelan with jazz and popular music. It manages to stay surprisingly true to the spirit of the original. It's also great entertainment, so if you get a chance (the show is now touring the US and Europe) go see it. Bali may be deluged with tourists, but it changes the world even as it changes.

My gamelan group recently performed at a hybrid Australian/Javanese wedding. The mix of elements worked ok, but it's a once-off - marriage ceremonies are much more conservative than avant-garde music.