Indonesian modern theatre can be divided into four periods of creative work. Theatre emerging in the 1970s was driven by leaders like W. S. Rendra and Arifin C. Noer, who internalized traditional heritage in the landscape of modern consciousness. In the 1980s figures like Nano Riantiarno linked traditional forms in a more accessible and popular style using music and caricature, while Boedi S. Otong explored a kind of narrative collage and poetic theatre for presenting urban circumstances of Jakarta. The 1990s generation of artists, formed by their urban reality and divorced from village or ethnic theatre experiences, addressed tradition in a fragmentary, personal “mixed salad” (rujak) mode. With the fall of the Suharto government in the late 1990s a new style developed that took on themes suppressed during the New Order government. An ever-evolving relationship between traditional performance and contemporary theatre has existed. Artists have sometimes adopted traditional elements and at other points subverted aesthetic heritages.


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pp. 48-74
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