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Shadowlight Productions


An Evening of Balinese Wayang

Date(s) & Time(s): Sat, Oct 23, 7:00 PM
Duration: 60 mins w/out intermission
Venue: Fort Mason
Location: Parade Ground

Ticket Information

Advance Price: $18 - $20

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Engagement funded in part by:

National Endowment for the Arts, the Sam Mazza Foundation, Grants for the Arts, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Thendara Foundation.

Artist Information

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Production Details

An Evening of Balinese Wayang

Wayang Bali, the Balinese Shadow Play, is one of the most revered traditional art forms in the world. According to Balinese philosophy, a wayang performance is a symbol of the cosmos. The dalang (Shadow Master) represents God; the screen represents the world and its atmosphere; the damar (oil lamp) is the sun; the banana log underneath the screen is the earth on which the creatures walk; and the wayangs (puppet characters) are the creatures. The accompanying gender music represents irama djaman, which means, "in phase with the periods of history." Plots for the shadow play are drawn from the Mahabharata myth cycle. Five brothers are pitted against one hundred jealous cousins in a struggle for power involving gods, demons, magical weapons, and a beautiful princess. Wayang Bali takes place in two languages simultaneously: the ancient language and the language of the audience. Larry Reed is able to perform wayang in English, French, Spanish, German, and Indonesian, making it possible for the Western audience to appreciate the ancient art form.

Shadowlight Productions

The mission of ShadowLight Productions is to expose the general public to the art of Shadow Theater. The means of providing such exposure includes but is not limited to live theater, film and other media. We strive to preserve indigenous shadow theater traditions, and to explore and expand the possibilities of the shadow theater medium by creating innovative interdisciplinary, multicultural works. ShadowLight was founded in 1972 by filmmaker/theatre director/shadow artist Larry Reed. The driving forces were Reed’s interests in and appreciation of shadow theatre traditions, film and world cultures, and the passion to express them in an integrated fashion. He is one of the few Westerners to have trained in the traditional Balinese shadow theatre and is a dalang or “shadow master.” After over 15 years of studying and performing in this tradition, Reed began expanding the scope of ShadowLight’s artistic activities in order to create a deeper connection with contemporary American audiences. Through much exploration and experimentation, he successfully integrated traditional shadow theater techniques with modern theater and film styles. The outcome was a “live animation film” - a completely original way of using shadows in theatre that is not culture-bound. Performed behind and in front of a 15’x 30’ screen, these works orchestrate silhouettes of puppets, actors, and cutout sets illuminated by multiple electric light sources to create cinematic effects live on stage. Each show features live music and is created by a collaborating ensemble of writers, choreographers, composers, designers, actors, dancers, musicians and puppeteers from various cultural backgrounds, artistic disciplines and styles. To better support the larger scale of productions, ShadowLight Productions was incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) organization in 1994.

Artist Biographies

ShadowLight Dalang and Gamelan
Dalang or "Shadow Master": Larry Reed, ShadowLight Gamelan: Carla Fabrizio Lisa Gold Paul Miller Sarah Willner, Singer: Katie Harrell, Dalang Assistant: Fred C. Riley

San Francisco International Arts Festival
Phone Number: 415-399-9554 | Email: [email protected]
1222 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94109



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