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UW-Madison Javanese concert features four guest artists

April 24, 2012

This spring’s annual concert of music and dance by the UW–Madison Javanese Gamelan Ensemble and dancers will feature a solo dance by Valerie Mau Vetter of Grinnell College, a group dance by members of the Javanese dance class taught by Peggy Choy of the Dance Department and a wide variety of gamelan music.

The performance will take place Saturday, April 28 at 8 p.m. in Mills Concert Hall in the Humanities Building and is free and open to the public.

The musical offerings will range from classical court music to several popular contemporary pieces for voice and gamelan, featuring renowned drummer and composer Rasito, of Purwokerto, Java, Indonesia; vocalists Marc Benamou of Earlham College; and Mary Jo Wilson of Southeast Asian Studies and guest instrumentalist Roger Vetter of Grinnell College.

UW-Madison’s gamelan, known as Kyahi Telaga Rukmi, will be played by members of the advanced class in Javanese gamelan performance, directed by R. Anderson Sutton, professor of ethnomusicology.

Valerie Vetter will perform the evening’s solo dance, “Gambir Anom,” depicting a young refined prince who is preening himself in preparation to meet with his lover. Often in Javanese classical dance, a refined male role is played by a woman.

The highlight of the musical offerings will be a group of four pieces in the Banyumas style,including one composed by Rasito himself-all with the distinctively lively drumming, fast playing and spirited vocals unique to this region of western central Java.