Puttin' on the Myths

When a theater production bills itself as an epic, it's usually nothing more than a publicist's bombast. Yet when Robert Wilson's I La Galigo premieres in Singapore on March 12, it will be literally true: the four-hour spectacle of song and dance, mantra and martial arts is based upon a classic of Indonesian literature, an epic poem almost unknown outside the archipelago until now. The poem, also called I La Galigo, survives in thousands of fragmentary manuscripts and was written in an archaic Indonesian language that maybe no more than 50 people today are able to understand. It runs to some...

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