Wayang Bali, the Balinese Shadow Play (which features a
live gamelan accompaniment), is one of the most revered
traditional art forms in the world.
According to Balinese philosophy, a wayang performance
is a symbol of the cosmos. The dalang (Shadow Master) represents
God; the screen represents the world, including the atmosphere;
the damar (oil lamp) is the sun and the banana log underneath the
screen is the earth on which the creatures walk; the wayangs
(puppet characters) are the creatures. The accompanying
gender music represents irama djaman, which
means in phase with the periods of history.
Plots for the shadow play are drawn from the Mahabharata
myth cycle. Five brothers are pitted against one hundred jealous
cousins in a struggle for power involving gods, demons, magical
weapons, and the inevitable beautiful princess.
Wayang Bali takes place in two languages simultaneously:
the ancient language and the language of the audience.
In harmony with other venues on the UC Davis campus and across
the state of California, The Arts departments are committed to
providing as safe an experience as possible to our greater
community—and will do so until state or county guidelines are
There are three ways for you to attend, regardless of whether or
not the event is ticketed.