Sumunar invites you to experience the rich sounds, stories and traditions of Indonesia! Whether you come to a performance, take a class, join a performing ensemble, or volunteer, we look forward to seeing you!


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Sumunar wins Knight Foundation Grant


NEWS FLASH!! SUMUNAR is a winner of the Knight Foundation St. Paul Arts Challenge!! This grant, plus matching funds from other sources, will support a unique collaboration of Sumunar and Green T Productions in 2015. We will produce a "Minnesota Mini-Wayang," based on the traditional Indonesian shadow puppet play but with an original Minnesota story, played out by puppets, live actors, dancers, and a gamelan accompaniment. It will be entertainment for all ages, with an emphasis on fun-for those presenting and for those watching. We'll keep you informed as plans unfold after January 1.

Hold the Date! Upcoming Show: Prince Rama's Journey

In collaboration with Green T productions, Summunar will present a new production of stories from the Ramayana featuring actors and dancers accompanied by traditional gamelan at the Heart of the Beast Theater at 1500 E. Lake St. in Minneapolis. 

Physical Theater
Indonesian Dance
Traditional Gamelan Music

Synopsis: The evil Ravana kidnaps the virtuous Princess Sita, inciting an epic war between Ravana's legion of demons and Prince Rama's monkey army.

Featuring the talents of Heidi Berg, Heather Quigley, Ki Seung Rhee, Matthew Kessen, David Schneider, Natalie Rae Wass, Mickaylee Shaughnessy, Misty Bremer, Avian Jangula, Jameen Lauck, Stephanie Bright, and Sumunar Indonesian Music & Dance.  Directed by Kathy Welch.

Shows will be on Oct 31, Nov 1, 2, 3;  and  Nov 6 7, 8, 9All shows at 7:30 p.m. except Sundays (Nov. 2 and 9) at 2 p.m

Ticket prices:
Adults   $20
Seniors & holders of Fringe Festival badges  $18 
Students 12+ with ID   $12
Children 11 and under    $5
Special rate for groups of 10+: call 800-886-8035
Monday, Nov. 3: pay what you can

Don't stand in line to buy tickets! Get them in advance on the Green T web page: 

2014 Annual Meeting


Sumunar's annual membership meeting and picnic was held in Falcon Heights, MN on Sunday afternoon, September 14, 2014. It was a beautiful afternoon, and everyone had a great time. A new Board of Directors was elected, including Daniel Furuta and Aaron Victorin-Vangerud, who represent a valuable new perspective from the performing gamelan group.

The Friends of Sumunar award was presented to Vince Wharton and Anne von Bibra, who were among the charter members of the gamelan and dance ensembles, and who have supported Indonesian music and dance in Minnesota in many crucial ways including serving on the board of directors, hosting meetings in their home, providing financial support, and being leaders over the years.   

Como Park Concert

 On May 28, 2014, on a beautiful Spring evening, the Sumunar Dance and Gamelan Ensembles presented a concert at the outdoor pavillion on the shores of Como Lake. A large and enthusiastic crowd came to hear and see the free concert, which featured performances by both the youth and adult dancers. One of the crowd-pleasers was Pemut, a new piece composed by Joko Sutrisno and choreographed by Tri Sutrisno. This piece uses rhythms and movement from pop and rock music as well as traditional gamelan music and dance. Here's a short video of that piece:




Spring Concert at Macalester a great success


On Sunday, May 4, Sumunar together with the Macalester Asian Music Ensemble gave a concert that offered music from India, China, Korea, Central Asia, and Indonesia in the beautiful, new Mairs Concert Hall at Macalester College.

Here's a clip from that event:



Laughing Waters

Laughing Waters is a collaboration between Green T Productions and Summunar that was commissioned for the Minneapolis Mosaic show in 2011. 
Finally, we have audio and video files that match for this performance. The introduction by the MC gives more information about the origons and meaning of the story.



Klenengan a success!

Klenengan: Music for Contemplation 
Sunday, January 26 
Sumunar Studio: 
Room 204, Ashton Building, 1549 University Avenue, St. Paul.
Time: 7-9 pm
Despite the arctic weather, a hardy audience enjoyed an 
informal evening of longer, meditative pieces for Javanese gamelan. They were immersed in the warm, rich textures of the gamelan while  relaxing from the extremely cold, busy world outside.

The Sumunar Gamelan Ensemble, directed by Joko Sutrisno, played traditional Javanese gendhing in an open and informal house concert. 

Everyone was welcome. They could come and go as they liked. Many brought a favorite pillow or book. They meditated, napped, knit, read, or just relaxed and envisioned the warm, tropical lands in which this music was invented.
Tea was served.

Free admission – but contributions were gratefully accepted.

Here's an excerpt from the Klenengan :



Other recent concerts

Tengoro: I/We Identity in Community

Linwood/Monroe Arts Plus School

Sumunar Indonesian Music and Dance
presented a public concert on


Tuesday, November 26, 2013 

7:00 PM 
Linwood/Monroe Arts Plus
Upper School 
810 Palace Avenue, 
St. Paul, MN 55102


In November Sumunar provided an Indonesian music/ dance/culture residency at Linwood/Monroe Arts+ Upper School, funded by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. To culminate this experience, the Sumunar Gamelan and Dance Ensemble joined with Monroe students in a performance built on the theme of community as a joining of many identities. 

Monroe 7th & 8th grade students
Sumunar Gamelan & Dance Ensemble

Artists Teachers
Joko Sutrisno, gamelan
Tri Sutrisno, dance
Eliza Rasheed, shadow puppetry


Pambuko – by Sumunar
Parisuko – gamelan by Sumunar
Gambyong Parianom – Dance by Sumunar
Merak- Dance by Sumunar
Wayang Kulit (shadow puppets) – Collaboration with Monroe
Ratnasari – Dance with Lcr. Sayuk – Collaboration with Monroe
Saman Dance – with Wong nDonyo - Collaboration with Monroe
Caping Dance - Collaboration with Monroe
Pangkur Pelog Barang – Music  by Sumunar Gamelan Ensemble

Admission free - Donations welcome
This event concluded an Indonesian arts/culture residency
funded by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council

Open House

On Sunday, November 3, 2013, Sumunar, together with its new artistic partner, Green T Productions, held an open house to celebrate the grand opening  of its new studio in the Ashton Building at 1549 University Avenue in St. Paul. 

Here are some short video clips from the event. This video is also available on the Sumunar YouTube page at

The new location a little less than a block east of the corner of Snelling and University and across the street from the light rail station and McDonalds. There is public transit on both Snelling and University. The studio is about 1,000 square feet and has a storage room and office. Large windows overlooking University Ave. make it bright and inviting. Both gamelan and dance classes will take place in our new space. The main entrance is on University Ave. and there's also a door in the back to the parking lot. Check the class schedules on the Classes page to see when someone will be in the studio. 

Beginning in January, 2014, Sumunar will be sharing this space with Green T Productions, a theater group that uses traditional Asian performance styles as an inspiration to create a new approach. Its current show (a short excerpt of which is shown in our video) is a dance version of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which will be performed at the Cowles Center in Minneapolis November 15 through December 1. see for more details.


Here are some photos taken during the move.  


Community Classes begin in October—check the “Classes” page. A Beginner’s Gamelan Class will be scheduled to start in January—please join us!

Previous Performances




 The Sublime and the Beautiful: Great Music Traditions of Indonesia

Here's a clip from that concert:


Sumunar Indonesian Music and Dance: The Many Faces of Tradition

Friday April 26, 8pm
Sundin Music Hall
Hamlin University
1531 Hewitt Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104
Tickets: General admission $12, Students $8, Hamline faculty, staff, and students $5
for more information: Sundin Music Hall Box Office, 651-523-2459


7:15 pm Pre-concert talk "How to Listen to Gamelan Music"

This program will feature performances by dynamic guest dancer, Baghawan Ciptoning
A dancer and choreographer from Surakarta, Java, Baghawan Ciptoning has trained extensively with some of Indonesia’s finest artists. He graduated from ISI Surakarta (Indonesian Institute of Arts) and continues to serve on its faculty. He has toured his work extensively, performing in India, Japan, Thailand, Finland, and Malaysia, as well as in the USA from 2006 on. He draws inspiration and technique from ceremonial Javanese court dance and richly layers it with imagination and an intimate knowledge of martial arts. In 2006 he received the Best Dance on Screen Award for his production and choreography of “Tamansari.” Since 2008 he has been a staff member at the Indonesian Consulate General in Los Angeles, working in the areas of information, social and cultural affairs.