2 Like many Javanese people, Slamet Gundono did not have a hereditary family name. In order to address him respectfully people call him Ki (‘the honourable’) Slamet, but he was also referred to as Pak (literally ‘father’, but equivalent to ‘Mister’) or Mas (‘older brother’) Gundono. However, I will refer to him as Gundono, following the practice in international scholarship by, for example, Cohen Matthew Isaac, ‘Contemporary Wayang in Global Contexts’, Asian Theatre Journal, 24, 7 (2007), pp. 338–69.
5 In the Mahabharata, Dursasana threatenes to rape Drupadi after winning over her freedom in a game of dice with Drupadi's husband, Puntadewa.
6 Williams Margaret, ‘The Death of “The Puppet”?’, in Posner Dassia N., Orenstein Claudia and Bell John, eds., The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance (London and New York: Routledge, 2014), pp. 18–29, here p. 21.
8 Matthew Isaac Cohen, ‘Traditional and Post-traditional Wayang Kulit in Java Today’, in Posner, Orenstein and Bell, The Routledge Companion to Puppetry, pp. 178–191, here p. 180.
9 The range of challenges to the conventions of wayang kulit has been explored by several authors. See, for example, Cohen, ‘Contemporary Wayang in Global Contexts’; Mrázek Jan, ed., Puppet Theater in Contemporary Indonesia: New Approaches to Performance Events (Ann Arbor, MI: Southeast Asian Studies, 2002); Behrend Tim, ‘The Millennial Esc(h)atology of Heri Dono: “Semar Farts” First in Auckland, New Zealand’, Indonesia and the Malay Word, 27, 9 (1999), pp. 208–24; Escobar Miguel, ‘The Intermedial Interrogation of Memory’, Performance Research, 7, 3 (2012), pp. 33–8; Escobar , ‘Wayang Hip Hop: Java's Oldest Performance Tradition Meets Global Youth Culture’, Asian Theatre Journal, 31, 1 (2014), pp. 481–504.
10 Dassia Posner, ‘Introduction’, in Posner, Orenstein and Bell, The Routledge Companion to Puppetry, pp. 1–12, here p. 5 (Material Performance(s)).
11 Kreps Christina, ‘The Idea of “Pusaka” as an Indigenous Form of Cultural Heritage Preservation’, in Kerlogue Fiona, ed., Performing Objects: Museums, Material Culture and Performance in Southeast Asia (London: Horniman Museum and Gardens, 2004), pp. 1–14, here p. 5.
12 The puppets are not actually put to bed each night but rather ‘stored’ in beds. See M. Misbahul Amri, ‘Wayang Mbah Gandrung: A Ritual Wayang From East Java’, trans. Helen Pausacker, in Mrázek, Puppet Theater in Contemporary Indonesia, pp. 242–7.
13 The archive is expected to become publicly available in 2016 at http://cwa-web.org. An interactive version of my doctoral dissertation, which includes some video excerpts, is already available at www.wayangkontemporer.com
14 Puntadewa is the eldest of the Pandawa brothers, the protagonists of the Mahabharata, who fight their cousins over the throne of Astina.
15 Italicized words were spoken in English in the performance. The translations for this and all subsequent quotations from Gundono's performances are mine.
16 Traditional wayang kulit shows often include two banana trunks, with one stacked slightly above the other. The characters of higher status are placed on the upper one.
17 See note 1 above for an explanation of Pak as an honorific. Javanese and Indonesian speakers can choose from a long and nuanced list of honorifics when addressing their interlocutors. Therefore I preserve the original terms in the translations. The Kurawa are the antagonists of the Mahabharata.
18 Tahu and tempe are fermented soya bean curds. Sambal is a spicy chili sauce. These are common and inexpensive food items in Java.
19 It is difficult to gauge the effectiveness of this challenge. Feminist readings of wayang, and female dalang themselves, are still rare. Tellingly, the most successful female puppeteer in Indonesia is Maria Tri Sulistyani, known as ‘Ria Papermoon’, who works outside the world of traditional puppetry.
20 For more information see Becker Alton, Beyond Translation: Essays toward a Modern Philology (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995), p. 43.
21 Inandiak's novelized version of the literary work first appeared in French with the title Les chants de l’Île à dormir debout: Le livre de Centhini (Songs from an Island Beyond Belief: The Book of Centhini) (Paris: Seuil, 2005), and then in Indonesian as Centhini, Kekasih yang Tersembunyi (Centhini, the Hidden Lover), trans. Laddy Lesmana (Yogyakarta: Babad Alas, 2008).
22 Bennett Linda Rae and Davies Sharyn Graham, Sex and Sexualities in Contemporary Indonesia: Sexual Politics, Health, Diversity, and Representations (Abingdon: Routledge, 2015), p. 9.
23 Endraswara Suwardi, Rasa Sejati: Misteri Seks Dunia Kejawen (Real Experiences: The Mystery of Sex in the World of Kejawen) (Yogyakarta: Agromedia Pustaka, 2006), p. 331.
24 Halal refers to meat prepared as prescribed by Muslim law.
25 Rasa could be understood as a combination of feeling, intuition and experience.
26 Cebolang Minggat, trans. Miguel Escobar Varela.
27 In the past the blencong used oil. Currently, even the most traditional performances only use electric lights, but the light bulb is still housed in a blencong structure.
28 Togog is a half-brother of Semar and Batara Guru. In wayang performances he accompanies the antagonists as a servant and adviser. Semar and his sons fulfil a similar role for the protagonists.
29 For a short introduction to ruwatan performances see Victoria Maria Clara van Groenendael, Released from Kala's Grip (Jakarta: Lontar Foundation, 1998), pp. x–xix.
30 Interview with the author on 20 April 2012.