Wayang orang (human puppet) performances are to be staged in several cities of Germany next May.
Antara news agency reported that the shows had been initiated by nonprofit cultural organization Paramarta Karya Budaya Foundation with the aim of introducing foreigners to Indonesian culture.
“There are many elements we can introduce to the German public, from batik and music to dance,” said Prasti Rachmadi Pomarius, head of the foundation, at the Education and Culture Ministry in Jakarta on Wednesday.
The wayang orang theater will perform Kresna Duta, a tale from the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata. The performance will be shortened to 90 minutes from the usual four hours, and it will use the Javanese language, along with additional narration in German in each act.
Director Teguh Hampiranto said he had decided to cut some parts of the original tale, including the comical Punakawan scene. “The jokes wouldn’t have the same effect, as they are very localized,” he said.
The show will involve several wayang orang theaters and 40 performers. A number of Indonesians who live in Germany will participate as backup dancers.