Wrapped in an orange dress, that little girl sat cross-legged. Her hands clutched a gunungan (Mountain-shaped puppet) marking the beginning of the event. The chiming sound of gamelan (traditional ensemble music of Java and Bali, Indonesia) reverberated and her little voice uttered the play of “Gathotkaca Senopati”. The scene marked the event of the Little Pupeteer Festival VI held by YSU’s Education Museum of Indonesia. That little girl’s name was Elvia Trisniawati, one of the participants of the event coming from Blora. The third daughter from the Suroso and Sujiyati family, admitted that she had prepared herself by practicing at the Yudhistira Studi in Blora. Sujiyati told that her daughter’s interest in shadow puppet started since she was little. “Elvia bought the shadow puppets and she took them home to play with” said Sujiyati. The student of sixth-grade P.S 2 of Kemiri Blora, also happened to have participated in the National Little Puppeteer Gathering 6 in Surakarta and the Blora Little Puppeteer Festival 2015.

The Little Puppeteer Festival VI was opened by the First Vice Rector of YSU, Wardan Suyanto, Ed.D and would take place from Sunday to Thursday, 1-5 May 2016. The participants were 45, with 27 little puppeteers in the primary school and 18 in the junior high school with the style of Yogyakarta and Surakarta. According to the Head of the Committee, Abdul Manaf, MT, this event, aside from celebrating the 52th Anniversary of YSU, was also to preserve the local wisdom through the shadow puppet performance. “All of this is for the children’s character education.” He said. The juries were Prof. Suminto A. Sayuti, Prof. Suwardi and Iswahyudi, M.Hum. According to Prof. Suwardi in this Festival there were four assessments, namely: the discourse, the storytelling, the stroke and the ensemble. “Antawecana is the discourse or the conversation in the performance.” He said. “It could be in the form of dialogues, or other signs.” The style of the puppeteering and the orchestra were not included in the judging.

At the same time, the festival was also attended by the Head of Education and Culture Affair of Tulungagung regency, Drs. Suharno, M.Pd and the party to give support to their 3 representatives, namely: Muhammad Ferdan Tauladan, Hazel Abirama Arrafi dan Muhammad Rafi Nur Fauzi. Drs. Suharno, M.Pd expressed that his visit beside to give support, was also to supervise the development of shadow puppet. In Tulungagung, shadow puppet is still famous.” as said by Drs. Suharno, M.Pd “Sometimes we have a daily performance.” He told that one of the famous puppeteers from Banyuwangi, East Java, decided to stay in Tulungagung just because of the high frequency of the performance there. In this festival, Muhammad Ferdan Tauladan performed the play of Ekoloyo Kromo, Hazel Abirama Arrafi performed Ramabargawa Gugur dan Muhammad Rafi Nur Fauzi performed Salyo Gugur. (dedy)

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