This Psychedelic World Turns Upside Down

Selendang Merah, Tiga Dari Trilogi Opera Jawa

Do not whip the bodies of men, their blood will turn into a long red river of blood, and I do not know where it will end”.

That’s a sentence from Selendang Merah (Red Shawl), the 3rd Opera Jawa’s trilogy. Flash info, the first trilogy is “Iron Bed” and the second is “Tusuk Konde” (Hair Pin). Anyway, last Sunday (7/4) I went to Solo, in order to watched this Garin Nugroho’s work at Teater Besar ISI (Isntitut Seni Indonesia). Why ‘Red Shawl’? Well, according to the show’s catalogue (yes, I have no idea the phrase of ‘selendang merah’ in Javanese terms, and I didn’t interviewed Garin for sure), red shawl or sampur in Javanese, refers to words “ketiban sampur” (fallen by the shawl), literally means an asking to have a dance.

Or, in another (larger) meanings, which is more philosophy, ketiban sampur is giving an honour, blessing and opportunity. It also has bad meanings; burden, trouble and coercive. The story itself was about the world has turned upside downs; where human behave like animals, and animals behave like human. Nothing remains in it’s proper place, living like a circus, fulfilled with tragedy and unpredictable things.

This two hours magnificent show, has hypnotized my eyes and ears so they won’t heard and seen anything but the show. I like the wardrobe, I like the psychedelic colors, and I like the lighting so I could bring home a heavy bag full of nice photos. I’m totally spellbound.

*photograph: meredshwl01 redshwl02 redshwl03redshwl04 redshwl05 redshwl06 redshwl07redshwl08 redshwl09- redshwl10 redshwl11redshwl12- redshwl13 redshwl14 redshwl15redshwl16 redshwl17 redshwl18

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