Building a Monkey Bridge Around the World

Earthville Arts on Location in Indonesia

Earthville ArtsDENPASAR: The government of Indonesia invited OnePeople Voice, a creative partner of the Earthville Network, to perform in a series of arts festivals on the islands of Bali and Java. OnePeople upped the ante by organizing a six-week program of cross-cultural exchange, performances, workshops, and other cultural bridge-building activities, and the Earthville Arts crew [formerly known as “CreatioNation”] was there to help catalyze and document the magic.

The main performances, at festivals in Denpasar, Jogjakarta (Yogyakarta), and Solo, were a huge success. OnePeople Voice performed a 100-minute theatrical piece entitled “Situbanda” (Monkey Bridge), based on a modern reinterpretation of the traditional Hindu-Buddhist epic, the Ramayana, which serves as the inspiration for much of Indonesia’s traditional art, as well as hour-long concerts of Indonesian Gamelan music infused with European and American musical influences. Crowds responded with standing ovations, national TV replayed clips from the show, and the papers gave rave reviews.

But perhaps the most magical moments came in the cultural exchanges and workshops in Ubud, Tejakula, Solo, and other parts of Bali and Java, where the warmly welcoming Indonesians enthusiastically embraced our 50-person international (mostly US-based) troupe and crew, and welcomed us into their hearts and homes as they shared their unique and powerful musical and theatrical traditions with us.

A documentary film telling the story of the adventure is currently in production by OnePeople Voice.

For more information, visit the OnePeople Voice website and the Earthville Arts page.

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