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Opera Gandari: A new perspective on a Mahabharata character

Anselmo Jason

The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta  /  Mon, December 9, 2019  /  04:50 pm
Opera Gandari: A new perspective on a Mahabharata character

Questions and answers: Indonesian senior artist Christine Hakim talks during a press conference on a new play, 'Opera Gandari', in Jakarta. (JP/Dionnasius Aditya)

Opera Gandari promises an all-embracing art form based on Goenawan Mohamad’s depiction of the Mahabharata character. Sanskrit epic the Mahabharata is filled with a plethora of memorable characters. There are the main protagonists –– the Pandawa –– consisting of five siblings blessed with extraordinary abilities, themselves being incarnations of various deities within the Hindu religion. The five siblings include the wise Yudistira, the powerful Bima, the kind Arjuna, the handsome Nakula and the diligent Sadewa. While the five protagonists are arguably the most recognizable characters in the epic, their nemeses are not easily forgotten. In the Mahabharata, the Pandawa go up against the Kurawa, which consist of 100 siblings led by Duryodana and Dursasana, the former’s own cousins. In the story, the two rival families fight each other until the Pand...