As noted in an earlier post, San Francisco’s ShadowLight Productions has announced two upcoming in-person Wayang Bali Balinese ShadowTheater performances in The City.
Here is an exclusive interview with Larry Reed, the production’s founder.
Cultural Currents: Most of our readers are devoted ferry riders and appreciate any art form influenced by the life aquatic. How do these forces of nature influence your work?
Larry Reed: our current production is a traditional style dealing with a balance of power in the universe. This is aways the case. A previous cinematic shadow theater performance dealt with the churning of the milky ocean.
CC: The island of Bali is also home to religious sites such as cliffside Uluwatu Temple. To what extent does your work speak to spiritual yearning?
Reed: In our next performance we will be out doors, using a coconut oil flame which sits exactly in front of my face, and is a dynamic part of the production. the movement of the flame makes the shadow figures become alive.
CC: Because these performances are being staged outside, what special challenges does this pose for your production crew?
Reed: Our challenges are ambient lighting and traffic sounds, as we present a confrontation between gods and demons with humans as intermediaries.
CC: Finally, what advise do you have for audience members who wish to acquaint themselves with the Mahabharata myth cycle?
Reed: The Mahabharata and the Ramayana are considered to be all encompassing myths. William Buck’s version is pretty good. He was so enamored with the stories that he taught himself Sanskrit to translate them. there are many other