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Judith Becker Tribute, Summer 2008

In the summer of 2008, Charley Sullivan arranged for a special performance in Yogyakarta, Java, as tribute to Judith Becker. Javanese friends of Judith, all of them performers, whether puppeteers, dancers, vocalists or musicians, gathered to offer a sampling of Javanese performing arts in her honor.

Amir Hamzah Performance Project at U-M

FX Widaryanto, as a part of his residency at U-M, gave a lecture in our Friday Lecture Series on the process of collaborating with students to choreograph and perform a dance drama in the Javanese tradition. Here are excerpts of his lecture. He was joined by Susan Pratt Walton and Beth Genne, and had some help from his students in the audience.

Love Flows: An Islamic Dance Drama with Gamelan

In March 2011, the University of Michigan Gamelan Ensemble presented a dance drama of the pan-Islamic Amir Hamzah story, choreographed by FX Widaryanto. Widaryanto's interpretation of the age-old epic focuses on the brotherly love that Amir Hamzah, uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, feels for Allah and all mankind. That love flows like water, and in Javanese culture, water is a crucial symbol of love, as it nurtures, calms, and animates all living things.

Co-sponsored by the Residential College, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, LSA, Center for World Performance Studies Artist in Residence Program, the Islamic Studies Program, Humanities Institute, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, Office of Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, Rackham Graduate School, OVPR, International Institute, and the School of Music Theatre and Dance. The gamelan is owned by the Stearns Collection.