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Review: SUDAMALA: An Ageless Folklore that Tells an Ever-relevant Story

Review: SUDAMALA: An Ageless Folklore that Tells an Ever-relevant Story

The show is a Balinese performance-inspired production presented by Titimangsa and Indonesia Kaya.

Indonesia Kayaʼs 59th production of Sudamala: From the Epilogue of Calon Arang is a collaboration of 90 artists and maestros from Bali and other Indonesian cities. This production was the first Titimangsa production to be performed outdoor in the midst of the hectic Jakarta city life.

Review: SUDAMALA: An Ageless Folklore that Tells an Ever-relevant Story


In the middle of the hustle bustle of city life in Jakarta, Sudamala has successfully transported the audience to an entirely different place. As we entered the space, there were traditional offerings and incense that takes you right away to the streets of Bali. The stage was an open space in the middle of 3-side tribune, with a traditional Balinese gate as its main feature. It was as if we were in an authentic, traditional performance space in Bali.

Review: SUDAMALA: An Ageless Folklore that Tells an Ever-relevant Story

The title of the show, Sudamala, is rooted in the words 'Suddhaʼ which means purity, and 'Malaʼ, meaning the exact opposite of the prior: impurity. The core of the show is about the philosophy of dualism in life: water and fire, mountain and ocean, good and bad.


Through the story built upon the epilogue of the Calonarang folklore, Sudamala delivered a message of harmonization; between man and God, between people of different backgrounds, cultures, races, and beliefs; to be able to coexist in spite of our differences to create a delicate balance in the universe.


The show carries a Balinese authenticity by making sure that the entire performance features actual Balinese actors, dancers, and musicians.

Review: SUDAMALA: An Ageless Folklore that Tells an Ever-relevant Story

While the majority of the dialogue is spoken in traditional language, the mesmerizing visual elements in Sudamala convey a universal language that gives the audience an unmistaken understanding about its message, even under unique individual interpretations. Sudamala has successfully nailed the visual arts from every possible aspect: the stage, lighting, and costume designs are all delightful for the eyes and enriching for the mindʼs understanding of its message.

Review: SUDAMALA: An Ageless Folklore that Tells an Ever-relevant Story


One of the things that quietly stands out is the way this production extended its stage real estate by utilizing the wall of the building that stands behind the actual stage to project moving background as if itʼs an LED screen, creating an even more intensified, wholesome experience for all the senses.

Review: SUDAMALA: An Ageless Folklore that Tells an Ever-relevant Story

The sentiments of Sudamala remain relevant in the current challenge of the socio-political climate that doesnʼt seem to discriminate just a particular country, but equally happening all around the world. Through the story weʼve been told in Sudamala, if only weʼd take a moment to embrace our differences and realize how there wouldnʼt be light if it werenʼt for the darkness; how there wouldnʼt be good if it werenʼt for the bad; how coexisting in a delicate balance is essential for us to exist at all; maybe we could finally bask in the intricate harmony that we create for ourselves.

Review: SUDAMALA: An Ageless Folklore that Tells an Ever-relevant Story

(This article was written by Edelweiss Angelita)




From This Author - Rakaputra Paputungan

Rakaputra Paputungan is a Jakarta-based musical theatre aficionado who seeks to spread the love of the art form in Indonesia. Often volunteering for musical or theatrical productions, he's alwa... (read more about this author)


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