Get To Know Our Heritage By Watching ‘Matah Ati’

When several musical drama performances in Indonesia are influenced with international culture, Matah Ati takes the risk to perform in the way that Indonesian Javanese culture truly is. When some other performances use Bahasa Indonesia for the script, Matah Ati becomes the one which the cast speak and sing in Javanese language. Those two uniqueness of Matah Ati are just some among the long list why this opera is a must-watch.

Matah Ati, a performace that involves Javanese dances and music such as Tari Bedoyo and gamelan, is going to be performed at Teater Jakarta, Taman Ismail Marzuki Jakarta on May 13-16, 2011. That won’t be the first time people see it. Matah Ati had been performed before in Esplanade Theatre, Singapore, last October for two days. The tickets were sold out and it successfully gained standing ovation from the audience.

More interestingly, Matah Ati was created based on historical true story. It tells about a woman named Rubiyah who fought against colonialism together with her sweetheart Raden Mas Said. This story also marks the history behind the establishment of Mangkunegaraan Kingdom where Rubiyah was proposed by Raden Mas Said and got her new name Bandoro Raden Ayu Kusuma Matah Ati. That also explains where the performance name derived from. Now we know that Kartini and Cut Nyak Dien are not the only female heroines of Indonesia, we have Rubiyah too.

Writen and directed by Bandoro Raden Ayu Atilah Soeryadjaya, the descendant of Mangkunegaran VII of the Surakarta Palace in Central Java, the script was made through a research for about 2,5 years. To realize her dream in creating this opera, Atilah collaborate with Jay Subiyakto who took the role as the artistic director.

Together they merged their crazy ideas for Matah Ati such as inclined stage to maximize the viewing of the performance. Well I can’t imagine how it feels to dance upon an inclined stage; that must be really difficult! At the press conference of Matah Ati the cast also confessed that one of their biggest challenges in performing Matah Ati is the inclined stage. They need to step, act and dance very carefully or they will fall.

Let’s just wait for other excitements from Matah Ati! In the press conference, some hints were also shared. According to Jay Subiyakto, the performing Matah Ati in Indonesia will involve some explosions, while such act was banned in Singapore. There will also be a shower of jasmine towards the audience in its upcoming show in Indonesia.

Eager for more surprises? It is better to watch Matah Ati for ourselves and book the ticket as soon as possible at the regular ticket boes, priced Rp. 550,000 for the 1st class, Rp. 350,000 for the 2nd class and Rp. 200,000 for the 3rd class. Meanwhile, here are photos of Matah Ati performed at Esplanade Theatre: