90 years on after its first stage performance, the ancient Sundanese legend of Lutung Kasarung will come alive at the Sasana Budaya Ganesha, Bandung, from 27 December 2011 to 7 January 2012 in a spectacular show entitled the Lutung Kasarung Musical.
Lutung Kasarung or the Lost Ape is an ancient folklore from the people of West Java, - known as Sundanese - that tells about the journey of the Sanghyang Guruminda from the realm of Heaven who came down to earth in the shape ofa Lutung, a kind of ape. In this journey, he falls in love with the beautiful Purbasari Ayuwangi who is heir to the throne of the Pasir Batang Kingdom.The power struggle between Purbasari and her evil sibling Purbararang became the highlight of the story. Purbararang tried almost anything to keep Purbasari from the throne, but to no avail since Lutung Kasarung was always present to save Purbasari. Purbasari eventually overcame every obstacle and she finally ruled over the land together with Lutung Kasarung. The ugly ape eventually turned into a prince charming when he married Purbasari. As a universal value, the essence of the story is that although evil will never cease to suppress good, in the end righteousness will prevail.
For the Sundanese, Lutung Kasarung as a folklore is considered special and even sacred. Within the story there are values of Sundanese indigenous wisdom that deal with teachings, from cosmology to ethics in society. The story also contains moral values and guidance of life, among which are the wisdom on planting rice in the field, eating sirih (betelnut) leaves, and even to the need of a decent democratic system in society. One interesting fact that has occurred in history is that each time the Lutung Kasarung play was performed, changes have occurred the Indonesian society.
The story was first adapted into a colossal gending karesmen or musical play in 1921 by RA.Wiranatakusumah, who was mayor of Bandung at the time. in 1926, Lutung Kasarung or Loetoeng Kasaroeng also became the first movie ever produced in Indonesia – then the Dutch East Indies - directed by G.Kruger and L.Heuveldrop from the Netherlands. After Indonesia’s Independence in 1945, the play drew the attention of the first President, Ir. Soekarno. It was staged in the town of Ciamis in 1947, but Soekarno had to wait 5 years before the play was finally performed at the IKADA stadium in Jakarta in 1952.
As the story contains such significant values, and considering its contribution to Sundanese and Indonesian culture, the Lutung Kasarung Musical is surely something you should not miss.
Regular tickets are already on sale since 26 November 2011 and can be obtained at http://ticket.plasa.com or other appointed ticket box in Jakarta and Bandung. Admission tickets are IDR150.000 (2nd Class), IDR250.000(1st Class), IDR350.000 (VIP), and IDR650.000 (VVIP).
For more information visit the event’s official website: http://musikallutungkasarung.com/
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