This week we are featuring an article written by our affiliated graduate student from the Department of History, Katia Chaterji.
[Singing in Javanese]
- Speak English, Hanuman.
- Oh, I should speak English?
- Ya, you are in front of your children who only know English. So you should speak English.
-- Midiyanto, performing in front of a group of first graders at View Ridge Elementary School, Seattle on February 3rd, 2017
Ki Midiyanto was born into a family of music and storytelling. Guided by over five generations of puppet masters and gamelan musicians, Midiyanto is well acquainted with the art of performance. Yet on a Friday afternoon last month, I sensed just the slightest hesitation as Midiyanto surveyed the intricate, lacy leather puppets in front of him. Throughout his career teaching and performing across the globe, Midiyanto had never performed in front of an audience of 60+ first graders -- and first graders in North Seattle, at that.
Some may consider first graders to be your toughest, most observant, critics. Yet Midiyanto, with his animated narration and agile manipulation of the puppets, earned a room full of young fans within minutes.
To read the full story, click here.