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#MusikalDiRumahAja adds modern touch to Indonesian folk tales

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, July 17, 2020  /  01:10 pm
#MusikalDiRumahAja adds modern touch to Indonesian folk tales

#MusikalDiRumahAja features six Indonesian folk tales, namely 'Malin Kundang', 'Timun Mas', 'Rara J', 'Sangkuriang', 'Bawang Merah Bawang Putih' and 'Lutung Kasarung'. (shutterstock/File)

#MusikalDiRumahAja, a virtual performance series that puts a modern twist on Indonesian folk tales, will air on the YouTube channel of Indonesia Kaya at 8 p.m. on Thursdays from July 23 to Aug. 27

The six folk tales that will be featured in the series are Malin Kundang, Timun Mas, Rara J (from Rara Jonggrang), Sangkuriang, Bawang Merah Bawang Putih and Lutung Kasarung. Each performance will run around 14 to 18 minutes with recordings to be available for one week until a new performance is aired. 

The production involved a crew of 200, including six theater directors, six film directors, six cinematographers, seven music arrangers and 44 actors and dancers.

The actors included Dea Panendra, Karina Salim, Lil’li Latisha, Naura, Zack Lee, Daniel Ongko, Kikan Namara, Sha Ine Febriyanti and Olivia Zalianty.

Scripwriter Titien Wattimena said a modern twist was put on the tales by adding various contemporary elements. “It depends on the story,” Titien said during a press conference on Thursday. “We could add [a twist] in the dialogue, characters or the storyline. Rara J, for instance, is set in the present day.”


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Initially, Titien and executive producer Bayu Pontiagust selected more than six folk tales. “We chose stories that are familiar to give me room for creativity,” Titien said, adding that they later narrowed their selection down to six folk tales to match the numbers of directors involved and assigned each story to one director.

Award-winning film director Nia Dinata, who helmed Lutung Kasarung, recalled her experience working with theater director and choreographer Rusdy Rukmarata. “The theater director handled the theatrical part, while the film director managed it in such a way so people at home can feel like they’re watching a movie,” she said. 

Production began in April and was mostly conducted via video-conference app Zoom. Songs and lyrics were written especially for the musicals, and actors recorded the songs in a studio prior to shooting. 

A collaboration between Indonesian culture information portal Indonesia Kaya and event organizer BOOW LIVE, #MusikalDiRumahAja encourages the public to support Indonesian artists amid the COVID-19 pandemic by making donations via online crowdfunding platform

Amid the pandemic, Indonesia Kaya has organized several virtual activities, including broadcasting past theater performances and poetry readings. (wng)