I La Galigo

I La Galigo

Bugis Culture from South Sulawesi “I La Galigo” Benteng Rotterdam Makassar, 2011

I La Galigo is also a group of a group people-artists, technicians, designers and producers- from different countries. I La Galigo is the perfect result of bridging of different cultures, of Eastern and Western sensibilities, completely amalgamated by artistic control of a master like Robert Wilson.
23rd and 24th of April 2011 I La Galigo would dock in Makassar. The music created for I La Galigo is inspired by and, to fhsome extent, borrows from the melodies and traditional musical elements of the people of south Sulawesi , primaly the Bugis. However this musical foundation, while very strong, is just the point of departure in the complex process of creating and arranging the score for this contemporary music- theatre production. 
The story of Sureq Galigo is sometimes still shown to the people in many areas of Sulawesi in the form of a masureq- a presentation/reading of the Sureq Galigo texts with a special manner of vocal presentation. During the presentation the text is cut up or fragmented and these pieces are arranged into poetic lines, each consisting of five syllables, which are read aloud in a musical manner. 
In the original Sureq Galigo manuscript, there is sometimes mention of other rituals or events involving sound/noise, music or told which have the potential to become musical tools or to hold musical properties. On the one hand these references are restrictive ,yet on the other hand they guide, giving direction as well as inspiration to the musicians of this contemporary production. 
In April 2011, ten years after its birth and seven years after its launch at the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, I La Galigo Docked in Makassar, the capital of south Sulawesi. Presented on a special stage created within the courtyard of historic Fort Rotterdam, home to the I La Galigo Museum. 
Open- performances were attended by more than 2500 people from all over Sulawesi and other parts of Indonesia. The performances were accompanied by an exhibition featuring original Sureq Galigo manuscripts, treasure of South Sulawesi culture and elements of the stage production inspired by them. 
Made possible through the generous support of the Makassar Municipal Government , Mr. Tanri Abeng and many others. These activities have launched a new era in the life of I La Galigo. Robert Wilson, Change Performing Arts, Yayasan Bali Purnati, all of our collaborators and sponsors hope that this, and other productions of I La Galigo, will become a permanent fixture in the cultural ife of South Sulawesi.