Tall Tree, Nest of the Wind
The Javanese Shadow-play Dewa Ruci Performed by Ki Anom Soeroto - A Study in Performance Philology
Distributed for National University of Singapore Press
The book presents Dewa Ruci as rendered by the distinguished master puppeteer Ki Anom Soeroto in Amsterdam in 1987. The book’s unusual design presents the performance texts together with descriptions of the sounds and images that would remain obscure in conventional formats of presentation. Copious annotations probe beneath the surface and provide an understanding of the performance's cultural complexity. These annotations explain the meanings of puppet action, music, and shifts in language; how the puppeteer wove together into the drama the circumstances of the performance in Amsterdam, Islamic and other religious ideas, and references to contemporary Indonesian political ideology. Also revealed is the performance’s historical multilayering and the picture it paints of the Javanese past.
Tall Tree, Nest of the Wind not only presents an unrivalled insight into the artistic depth of wayang kulit, it exemplifies a new field of study, the philology of performance.