Randai is a folk theater tradition of the Minangkabau ethnic group which incorporates music, singing, dance, drama and the silat martial art. Randai is usually performed for traditional ceremonies and festivals, and complex stories may span a number of nights. It is performed as a theatre-in-the-round to achieve an equality and unity between audience members and the performers. Randai performances are a synthesis of alternating martial arts dances, songs, and acted scenes. Stories are delivered by both the acting and the singing and are mostly based upon Minangkabau legends and folktales. Randai originated early in the 20th century out of fusion of local martial arts, story-telling and other performance traditions. Men originally played both the male and female characters in the story, but since the 1960s women have also participated.
- Pauka, Kirstin (1998). "The Daughters Take Over? Female Performers in Randai Theatre". The Drama Review 42 (1): 113–121. doi:10.1162/105420498760308706.
- Pauka, Kirstin (2003). "Umbuik Mudo and the Magic Flute: A Randai Dance-Drama". Asian Theatre Journal 20 (2).
- Cohen, Matthew Isaac (2003). "Look at the Clouds: Migration and West Sumatran ‘Popular’ Theatre". New Theatre Quarterly 19 (3): 214–229. doi:10.1017/S0266464X03000125.
- Pauka, Kirstin (1998). Theater and Martial Arts in West Sumatra: Randai and Silek of the Minangkabau. Ohio University Center for International Studies. ISBN 0-89680-205-1.
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