Ki Joko Susilo

Dr. Joko Susilo

permanent home address
22 Larnach Road, Waverley • Dunedin 9001, New Zealand
Phone: 03-4545 914 • Fax: 03 4544386
e-mail: dhalang-AT-yahoo.com • Home page: http://www.gamelan.org/jokosusilo


Born: 14 October 1963 in Central Java, Indonesian

Nationality: Indonesian (New Zealand Permanent Resident)

Married to Kathryn Knox (New Zealander) with two children, Daru Dewanto Susilo-Knox (born 26 August 1992) and Deina Dewanti Susilo-Knox (born 27 July 1995), we currently reside in Dunedin, New Zealand.


  • 1986 Graduated from Akademi Seni Karawitan Indonesia Surakarta (Indonesian Arts Academy of Surakarta) with a Sarjana Karawitan (Bachelor in Arts) degree in Pedalangan (Puppetry)
  • 1994 DipGrad, University of Otago, New Zealand.
  • 1995 Master of Arts (Music) with Distinction, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • 2000 Ph.D. (Music), University of Otago, with a dissertation entitled ‘Music Ethnography of Ruwatan Performance in Central Java: Culture and Change’


1974 - present Freelance musician, puppeteer with an expertise in shadow and rod puppets

1986-1992 Lecturer in the Department of Puppetry, University of Performing Arts (STSI), Surakarta, Central Java, Indonesia

1988-1992 Private instructor in puppetry for foreign students in Surakarta, Indonesia.

1994-1995 Instructor in Gamelan (Javanese music) at Victoria University, Wellington. New Zealand

1995-2000 Tutor of Gamelan (Javanese music) at the Department of Music, Otago University. New Zealand

1999-2000 Research assistant for Dr. Erich Kolig, Department of Anthropology, Otago University

2001 Visiting lecturer, Dartmouth College, USA

2002 Artist in Residence at the University of Glasgow and Puppeteer in residence at the Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

2003 2001-2002 Teaching Community Theatre at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK

2002 Teaching Ethnomusicology at Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Dance, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

2002 Teaching Rod puppets and Indonesian Shadow Puppet at the Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

2003 Teaching Gamelan and part time lecturer at the Music Department, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

2004 Visiting lecture at the Department of Asian Languages Studies and Department of Visual Arts University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

2003, 2004 Visiting Lecturer at Dartmouth College, USA (non-western music).

2003, 2004 Visiting Lecturer at Hollins University, Virginia, USA (non-western music).

2003, 2004 Visiting Lecturer at Williams and Mary University, Virginia, USA (non-western music).

2003 – 2004 Fulbright Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Music, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, USA.


  • Born into a family of puppeteers and musicians; have performed all-night shadow puppet plays from the age of ten.
  • Designing and carving puppets.
  • Designed puppets for the "Silhouette" Japanese puppet group, carved the frames, and painted the 50 metre screen.
  • Designed and made puppets (also performed) for Maori puppets "Karetao Puppet Aotearoa" (New Zealand)
  • Designed and made puppets for "Wayang Skotlandia" (Scotland)
  • Director and performer experimental puppets and drama "Wayang Skotlandia" (Scotland)
  • Designed and made puppets for "Wayang Cuchulain" (Scotland)
  • Director and performer experimental drama and puppet performance "Wayang Cuchulain" (Scotland)
  • Director of Drama and puppet show (also designed and made puppets) for ‘Ubu Bush Pig’ (Tasmania, Australia)
  • Martial arts (Pencak Silat) practitioner and instructor.
  • Research assistant at the department of Anthropology, University of Otago


I have performed more than 50 plays as a professional puppeteer in excess of 500 times. Below are some of my more memorable or notable performances.


  • All-night shadow puppet performance at Radio Republic Indonesia Surakarta (National Public Radio in Surakarta), Indonesia
  • Monthly shadow puppet performance series at the house of Anom Suroto, Surarakarta, Indonesia.
  • Bi-lingual (Javanese-English) performance at the International Conference of Art for the Future, Bali (with Kathryn Knox and Matthew Cohen), Indonesia.


  • Shadow puppet performance, Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand
  • Shadow puppet performance, First Church, New Zealand
  • Shadow puppet performance, Asian 2000 Town Hall, New Zealand


  • Shadow puppet performance, Allen Hall, Otago University, New Zealand


  • Shadow puppet performance, Regular performances at Marama Hall, Otago University, New Zealand.


  • Shadow puppet performance, Television broadcast on Television New Zealand
  • Maori puppet ‘Wayang Karetao’ at Aoraki festival in Timaru, New Zealand


  • Maori puppet ‘Karetao’ at ‘Beat’ International Gamelan Festival, Wellington, New Zealand
  • Maori puppet ‘Sandosa-Karetao’, Maori Festival at Timaru, New Zealand
  • Shadow puppet performance, International Puppetry Festival, Jakarta, Indonesia


  • Shadow puppet performance, Ramayana (2 hours), Dartmouth College, USA
  • Puppet and opera ‘Wayang Esther’ (with Barbara Benary), New York, USA
  • Shadow puppet performance, ‘The Fall of Alengka’ (2 hours), Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
  • Shadow puppet performance, ‘Ciptaning’ (1 hour), Otago Museum, Dunedin, New Zealand.
  • All-night Shadow puppet performance, Gunung Kemukus, Sragen, Central Java (with live radio brosdcast).
  • Shadow puppet performance, "Ramayana" (2 hours) SMPC, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
  • Shadow Puppet performance, "Bima Builds a Kingdom", Millenium Stage, Kennedy Centre, Washington DC, USA (Live on Internet) : http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/millennium/artist_detail.cfm"artist_id=JOKOSUSILO


  • Shadow puppet performance, "Ramayana" (2 hours) Gilmorehill G12, University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
  • Shadow puppet performance, "Ciptaning" (2 hours) Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
  • Experimental Shadow puppet performance, "Wayang Skotlandia" Arches, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
  • Director for Javanese Traditional Drama "Bendhe Mataram" (drama) Riverside, London, UK.
  • Drama and Puppets Performance "Wayang Cuchulain" Gilmorehill G12, University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
  • Shadow puppet performance, "Ramayana" South Bank, London, UK.
  • Dancer and puppeteer at Dussera Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
  • Contemporary Shadow Play "The big Fish of Maui" (Wayang Karetao), West End Festival, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.


  • Shadow puppet performance, "Babat Alas" one hour wayang kulit at ‘Womad’ (World Music and Dance) , Taranaki, New Zealand.
  • Shadow puppet performance, "Makutha Rama" , Pasar Malam Besar, DenHag, Netherland
  • Shadow puppet performance, "Makutha Rama" , Kempen Music Festival, Germany
  • Shadow Puppet performance, "Makutha Rama", Tropen museum, Amsterdam, Netherland.
  • Shadow Puppet performance, "Makutha Rama", Olimpico Theater, Italy
  • Shadow Puppet performance, "Bima Builds a Kingdom" Melbourne University, Australia
  • Shadow Puppet performance, "Bima Builds a Kingdom", University of Tasmania, Australia


  • Shadow Puppet performance, "Bima Builds a Kingdom", Hollins University, Virginia, USA
  • Shadow Puppet performance, "Bima Builds a Kingdom", Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA
  • Shadow Puppet performance, "Bima Builds a Kingdom", Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, USA

..... .....
this site hosted by the american gamelan institute