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Jakarta Post

The journey of sainted Javanese prince Diponegoro

Jakarta   /   Thu, February 25 2010   /  12:23 pm

The capture: Two artists impersonating Diponegoro — in an Islamic garb — and a Dutch officer perform behind a scrim to the sounds of gamelan, in Opera Diponegoro, at Teater Salihara, Jakarta, last Friday and Saturday night. Courtesy of Salihara community/WitjakWhen The Jakarta Post published a preview of Sardono W. Kusumo's Opera Diponegoro titled *Taking a Fresh Look at Diponegoro", an unsuspecting connoisseur of the respected choreographer's works could have expected an unconventional, if not controversial, account of the famed Javanese prince's life. I, for one, expected that Sardono would bring down Diponegoro - whose name is synonymous with schools, universities, museums, hotels, streets and an army division in the country- from his celestial heights, from the realm of gods and heroes to his flesh-and-blood existence, complete with his ambivalence and ambiguities, the way h...