Lab Theater Ciputat Revisiting the Japanese Spotlight
Lab Theater Ciputat (LTC), an Indonesian theater group, has once again graced Japan’s prestigious stage, captivating audiences with their enthralling performance of “Mata Air Mata.” This remarkable showcase unfolded during the 41st Anniversary Suzuki Company of Toga Summer Season 2023, held at the renowned Rock Theatre in Togamura, Toyama Prefecture, from September 1st to 3rd, 2023.
Tackling Complex Ecological Issues
Director Bambang Prihadi, speaking from Tokyo on a Friday, highlighted that “Mata Air Mata” addresses the increasingly intricate realm of ecological concerns. He pointed out that environmental discourse often portrays a dichotomy: one side characterized by genuine concern and tangible actions, and the other side exploiting ecological issues as mere lip service to serve personal or group interests. Bambang Prihadi underscored humanity’s collective responsibility, transcending boundaries of fields, professions, religions, and beliefs, to address ecological challenges effectively.
The Engaging Narrative of “Mata Air Mata”
“Mata Air Mata” artfully weaves together the narratives of diverse characters, each entangled in their own intricate web of dilemmas. One facet of the story follows a character’s relentless pursuit of ambitions, driven by the desire to reconstruct cherished but fading memories. In juxtaposition, the performance introduces a symbolic representation of the burgeoning environmental crisis, setting the stage for a multifaceted exploration.
Characters That Resonate
Among the characters featured in this compelling performance are Tuamata and Nyi Dara. Nyi Dara grapples with the harsh realization that the Smoke Haze has perpetually clouded the environment for centuries, symbolizing an ongoing battle. In contrast, Tuamata embarks on a poignant journey, determined to wage one final battle by reviving an ancient, damaged, and parched water source.
Themes Explored in “Mata Air Mata”
At the heart of “Mata Air Mata” lie profound themes that resonate with audiences worldwide. The production delves into the depths of human avarice and gluttony, casting a critical eye on these detrimental facets of our existence. It also explores the idealistic pursuit of natural equilibrium, underscoring the delicate balance required to preserve our environment. Furthermore, the performance invites introspection on the part of humanity, challenging us to acknowledge our dual roles as both custodians and rulers of the environment. These thought-provoking themes are intricately interwoven throughout the narrative and scenes, creating a tapestry of reflection and discourse.
A Multilingual Spectacle
“Mata Air Mata” is presented predominantly in the Indonesian language, thoughtfully accompanied by Japanese subtitles. This bilingual approach ensures that the production is accessible to a diverse and multicultural audience, bridging linguistic divides to convey its powerful message.
“Mata Air Mata” Through the Years
This is not the first time that “Mata Air Mata” has graced the stage under the banner of LTC. In 2015, the production received acclaim with two showings: one at Sangga Buana City Park in South Jakarta and another in the UNIPA Forest in Manokwari, West Papua. The enduring appeal of the show continues to captivate audiences, transcending geographical boundaries.
Exploring Cross-Cultural Connections
Earlier this year, LTC embarked on an innovative journey by presenting “Crossing Text of Danarto and Mishima: Between Mystery and Mystical-Smiling Old Women.” This performance, rooted in the literary works of Indonesian author Danarto and Japanese author Yukio Mishima, showcased a captivating fusion of both languages. The production expertly navigated the intricate web of connections between these two literary giants, offering a unique and enriching experience for audiences.
In an era where cultural exchange and artistic exploration know no bounds, LTC’s ventures on the global stage serve as a testament to the power of theater to transcend language, geography, and culture. “Mata Air Mata” and their other compelling productions continue to inspire, provoke, and ignite conversations that span the globe, enriching our collective cultural tapestry.