SOUTHBANK CENTRE CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF ITS GAMELAN WITH ‘GAMELANATHON’ WEEKEND OF MUSIC, DANCE AND PUPPETRY
• Southbank Centre invites artists from across the UK, Ireland, Indonesia and Australia to take part in Gamelanathon weekend (6 and 7 July)
• Weekend includes UK premiere of In Lieu by Ade Suharto and David Kotlowy together with a programme of more than 25 free events
On 6 and 7 July 2013, Southbank Centre will celebrate 25 years since the Gamelan was first inaugurated at the site with a weekend ‘Gamelanathon’ honouring this traditional Indonesian percussion orchestra.
Throughout the weekend, which forms part of Southbank Centre’s Festival of Neighbourhood with MasterCard, 30 gamelan groups from across the UK, Ireland, Indonesia and Australia, will join the resident ensemble, Southbank Centre Gamelan Players, for a weekend of music, dance and puppetry. Highlights include: a new multi-media Sendratari (dance drama) with choreography by Matheus Wasi Bantolo, featuring master Javanese musicians, dancers from Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI), Surakarta, and the Southbank Gamelan Players ensemble (6 July); and a programme of more than 25 free performances.
Following its world premiere at Adelaide’s OzAsia Festival, in 2011, dancer and choreographer Ade Suharto and composer and performer David Kotlowy bring their new work, In Lieu to London for the UK premiere on 7 July.
On 6 July, the Queen Elizabeth Hall will be the venue for a spectacular evening of traditional Javanese gamelan and dance together with the performance of a new Sendratari – Javanese dance drama – choreographed by Matheus Wasi Bantolo. The Sendratari incorporates puppetry and multi-media elements to relate the exploits of the legendary Prince Panji. Master Javanese musicians will collaborate with dancers from Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI), Surakarta, and Southbank Gamelan Players.
The gamelan – the first of its kind to be held in a public arts centre – was presented to Southbank Centre by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia as a gift to the people of Great Britain as a gesture of friendship and was inaugurated officially in 1988. Southbank Centre has become one of the most significant centres of expertise and activity in Javanese gamelan outside of Indonesia. This gave rise to a national upsurge in the popularity of gamelan, as educational and arts institutions acquired gamelans and created programmes of work.
Gillian Moore, Head of Classical Music at Southbank Centre, said: ‘Javanese Gamelan is one of the great classical music traditions of the world. It has played an exceptional role at the heart of Southbank Centre’s programme for a quarter of a century, providing an intoxicating mix of a sophisticated art form with the uniquely accessible educational role it offers by drawing people of all abilities into its magical world.’
Sophie Ransby, Gamelan Advisor, said: ‘To celebrate the Gamelan’s 25 years at Southbank Centre, the site will be alive with the wonderful sound of these instruments and there will be the chance for visitors to try their hand at playing some of the instruments as well as listening to some of the world’s greatest players.’
Composer Alec Roth, founder of the Royal Festival Hall Gamelan Programme and Artistic Director for its first five years, said: ‘That it continues to nourish and sustain its Gamelan programme as one of the world’s great musical traditions is a measure of Southbank Centre’s status as a truly international arts centre.’
Saturday 6 July 2013 10.30am – 5.30pm The Clore Ballroom and Festival Terrace
International Gamelan groups perform throughout the day
Saturday 6 July 2013 7.30pm Queen Elizabeth Hall
Sendratari – Javanese Gamelan and dance
Prasadiyanto – musical director; Sri Suparsih – musician and puppeteer; Widodo – drummer; Matheus Wasi Bantolo – dancer and choreographer; Samsuri, Ayun Anindita Setya, Wulan, Erma Widhiastuti and Noviana Eka Pertiwi – dancers; Southbank Gamelan Players with dancers Ni Made Pujawati and Andrea Rutkowski.
Prices: £20, £15, £12
Saturday 6 July 2013 10.30pm The Front Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall
Gamelan and Electronics Chill Out
Bitwise and Madek; Charles Matthews; and Aris Daryono
Sunday 7 July 2013 11am – 6pm The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall; The Front Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall; and Festival Terrace
International Gamelan groups perform throughout the day
Sunday 7 July 2013 4pm
Suharto/Kotlowy – In Lieu
Ade Suharto – Director, Choreographer & Performer; David Kotlowy – Musical Director, Composer and Performer; Mawarini – Visual Artist and Performer; Gamelan Musicians; Southbank Gamelan Players
£15, £12, £8
Sunday 7 July 2013 5.15pm The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall
Shadow Puppetry Theatre with Siswa Sukra and guests
Notes to Editors:
Southbank Centre Gamelan is the focus of creative projects, teacher training and musician training at Southbank Centre. Other venues, such as LSO St Luke’s and the Cité de la Musique in Paris, have created their own gamelan programmes based on that of Southbank Centre. The gamelan has had significant currency in arts and education in this country over the last two decades because of the nature of the tradition, championed by Southbank Centre. The gamelan gives almost immediate access to a world of beautiful sound and clear musical structures. Although the musical structures are clearly defined, it is impossible to make an ugly sound on the gamelan. Within a couple of hours, any group of people can perform a simple but authentic piece of music, and is ideal for mixed-ability teaching: the layered structures of the music means that absolute beginners can play authentically alongside virtuosi. In the gamelan tradition music, ritual, dance and puppetry are inseparably combined.
Southbank Gamelan Players, Ensemble in Residence at Southbank Centre, London, was founded by Alec Roth in 1987. Most of the musicians have undertaken extensive study in Java and a number are gamelan tutors at Southbank Centre and throughout the UK. Working closely with dancers, puppeteers and composers from Indonesia, Europe and the USA, the group has established an international reputation both for its performances of traditional Javanese music and for its championing of new music for gamelan. Southbank Gamelan Players are Associate Artists at Southbank Centre, as well as performing all over the world. www.sbgp.org.uk