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Power Plays: Wayang Golek Puppet Theater of West Java (Ohio RIS Southeast Asia Series)

Andrew N. Weintraub

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ISBN 10: 089680240X / ISBN 13: 9780896802407
Published by Ohio University Press, 2004
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Power Plays: Wayang Golek Puppet Theater of ...

Publisher: Ohio University Press

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

Edition: 1.

About this title

Synopsis:

Based on ethnographic fieldwork spanning twenty years, Power Plays is the first scholarly book in English on wayang golek, the Sundanese rod-puppet theater of West Java. It is a detailed and lively account of the ways in which performers of this major Asian theatrical form have engaged with political discourses in Indonesia. Wayang golek has shaped, as well, the technological and commercial conditions of art and performance in a modernizing society.

Using interviews with performers, musical transcriptions, translations of narrative and song texts, and archival materials, author Andrew N. Weintraub analyzes the shifting and flexible nature of a set of performance practices called Padalangan, the art of the puppeteer. He focuses on “superstar” performers and the musical troupes that dominated wayang golek during the New Order political regime of former president Suharto (1966-98) and the ensuing three years of the post-Suharto period. Studies of actual performances illuminate stylistic and formal elements and situate wayang golek as a social process in Sundanese culture and society. Power Plays includes an interactive multimedia CD-ROM of wayang golek.

Power Plays shows how meanings about identity, citizenship, and community are produced through theater, music, language, and discourse. While based in ethnographic theory and methods, this book is at the center of a new synthesis emerging among ethnomusicology, anthropology, and cultural studies. Its cross-disciplinary approach will inspire researchers studying similar struggles over cultural authority and popular representation in culture and the performing arts.

About the Author:

Andrew N. Weintraub is associate professor of music at the University of Pittsburgh.

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