“Bima’s Spiritual Journey” is a Javanese tale over 500 years old, in which the strong, rugged, and loyal hero from the Indian Mahabharata, Bima, goes on a quest to understand the meaning of life and his place in the world as a warrior prince. Bima and his four brothers are known as the Pandhawa, and have been in a decades-long conflict with their cousins, the 100 Kurawa.
This conflict is putting the world in danger and Bima strives to understand his place in forging peace. His spiritual teacher and guide, the sage known as Durna, sends him on a number of challenges. Each one is cloaked in riddles and mystery, but Bima emerges having met the most profound and philosophical nature of his own inner self.
Purbo Asmoro retells this centuries-old favorite episode in his own, unique modern interpretative style, accompanied by the melodies of the Javanese gamelan ensemble, supporting the dramatic action in the most beautiful and compelling of ways at each moment in the performance. The simultaneous, running English transltion will assist audiences in understanding this masterpiece.
Purbo Asmoro is one of the most popular and revered Javanese shadow-puppet masters (dhalang) of his era. He is in high demand as a performer across all of Indonesia, and has toured the USA, France, England, Japan, Bolivia, India, Singapore, Scotland, Austria, Greece, and Thailand.
Purbo Asmoro curates his own YouTube site, which has 44,000 subscribers and over five-million views. He is also a senior studio/performance professor at the Conservatory of Arts in Solo, Central Java, and has guided generations of young performers in his position as educator for over 25 years.
Purbo Asmoro was born December 17, 1961 in the remote village of Dersono, Pacitan, East Java to a long lineage of dhalang. From 1989 to the present, he has been developing a new form of wayang performance practice, known in the field as “interpretive” wayang performance, in which he prioritizes the exploration of philosophy, debate, mysticism, the inner self, current events, and the beauty of music, poetrty and shadow-play over any traditional constrains in the form that he feels are no longer relevant to Indonesian society.