Organization - Wayang Orang Bharata : A Javanese Opera Troupe

Wayang Orang Bharata : A Javanese Opera Troupe
Basic Information
English Wayang Orang Bharata : A Javanese Opera Troupe
Local language Wayang Orang BHARATA
Country Indonesia
Category General NGO
Domain Oral Traditions and Expressions
Performing Arts
Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events
Function Education and Training
Established year 1972

The objectives of Wayang Orang (WO) Bharata is to preserve the traditional culture of Indonesia, especially the arts of wayang orang (a type of classical Javanese dance theatrical performance) and develop this traditional art in order to gain people’s interest, attract the younger generations, and broaden community knowledge about the puppet story’s philosophical value and moral messages for everyday life.


After puppet art was introduced to the public audience in the late-nineteenth century, puppetry became very popular, and hundreds of puppet groups appeared, which are known as tobong. But with the emergence of the television industry, this art lost its audience, forcing many of these groups to disband. The Society of Wayang Orang Bharata was established on July 5, 1972, in Jakarta to gather the puppet actors from the two surviving groups in the capital city.

However, this group is struggling. After its theater at Senen was renovated over five years, Bharata struggled to survive by holding two free performances each month for almost a year to gather the fans they had lost during the renovation years when they could not hold the show.

Nevertheless, in recognition of their expertise and artistic talent, Bharata group members are often invited to represent the country in cultural missions, where they introduce the arts of Indonesia in festivals and performances in foreign countries.

Major Activities

Bharata holds weekly performances every Saturday at 8 p.m., featuring a play that was adapted from the Mahabharata and Ramayana, and also stories from the epics. Bharata Association members are also often involved in various performances held by another group, Kethoprak, an art show based on historical kingdoms in Java. Bharata also holds special performances annually to show their style and unique creativity with the title Son of Work Stage. Some examples of puppetry works by WO Bharata are: Puppet Kakung Bambang Pramusinto (2009), Salya Wiratama (2010 and 2012), Puppet Tunas Gareng Dadi Queen (2011), The Sumantri (2013), Wayang Orang Bharata Youth Kongso Adu Jago (2014) and Monologue Puppet Destarastra (2015).

Contact Information (Organization)
Address Gedung Bharata Purwa, Jln. Kalilio 15, Senen, Jakarta Pusat 10410
Tel -
Fax -

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