JULY 2012—The dancers of Sekar Jaya have been invited to perform at the Museum Gunarsa Festival of Balinese Arts from Around the World.
Bali Tour 2012
The dancers of Gamelan Sekar Jaya have been invited by the renowned artist I Nyoman Gunarsa to perform on the Gunarsa Museum’s new 6,000 seat outdoor stage for their inaugural international performing arts festival—Bali Internasional: Museum Gunarsa Perayaan Kesenian Bali Dari Seluruh Dunia. (Bali International: Museum Gunarsa Festival of Balinese Arts from Around the World).
We hope you can help us send them on their way! We set a modest goal of $2500. Of course the expenses will be much higher than that, and every penny above our goal will help us to provide more support to our dancers and teachers, so feel free to give generously!
About Gamelan Sekar Jaya
Mission of Gamelan Sekar Jaya
To foster artistic exchange between Bali and the United States through residencies, workshops, performances, and the creation of innovative new works of music and dance; and to share the excitement of this exchange with diverse audiences in California, the US, and abroad.
GSJ is an internationally acclaimed sixty-member company of musicians and dancers, based in the SF Bay Area, specializing in the performing arts of Bali. Founded in 1979, GSJ has presented more than 400 concerts throughout California, the US, and abroad. Its performances in Bali—ranging from the Bali Art Center to remote village squares—have been greeted with wild enthusiasm by local audiences, artists, and media. The group’s success arises not only from its devotion to traditional repertoire but also from its innovative work. Over the past 32 years, GSJ has sponsored the creation of more than 60 works for gamelan and dance, by Balinese and US-based artists. These works have won critical acclaim on both sides of the Pacific. Dedication of the group’s members coupled with extended residencies from more than fifty of Bali’s finest artists has made GSJ a leader in the field. GSJ is the only foreign group to receive the Dharma Kusuma, Bali's highest award for artistic achievement.
About the Dance Ensemble
Sekar Jaya dancers study with master artists who join GSJ as Guest Dance Directors in extended residencies from three weeks to two years. Over fifty of Bali’s most renowned artists have joined GSJ in this capacity over its thirty-two year history. Dancers perform with the three music ensembles in a range of venues and festivals, from world-class stages such as Cal Performances Zellerbach Hall, to independent theaters such as The Cowell Theater at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center. Dancers also perform as an independent ensemble for private events, tours, and educational events.
Participants for the 2012 Tour
GSJ’s most senior soloists who bring a profound understanding of Balinese arts to the stage and whose soulful performances and cultural wisdom make them powerful conduits of artistic exchange;
GSJ’s Emerging artists who have shown extraordinary commitment to practicing Balinese dance, and contributing to its legacy here in the United States and abroad.
NI LUH ASTITI ANDARAWATI - Coordinator, Liaison; Performer; ROSE NISKER - Performer; ANNA DEERING - Performer; LAURA DEERING - Performer; SUSAN LAMBERTH - Performer; CASEY LEE-SIMS - Performer; EMIKO SARASWATI SUSILO - Director; SARA GAMBINA-BELKNAP - Manager, Musician, & Documentarian.
About The Tour
The Museum Gunarsa
The opportunity to perform at the inaugural Bali International: Museum Gunarsa Festival of Balinese Arts from Around the World, is a tremendous honor for GSJ. The dancers have been invited to perform with musical accompaniment from musicians of Gamelan Sekar Jaya and from one of Bali's most renowned gamelan ensembles, Çudamani—a privilege that speaks to the enthusiasm of the International Festival, and to GSJ’s lasting eminence in Bali’s lively arts scene. Performing in the Festival will provide extraordinary opportunities for the dancers to share a stage with the finest musicians and dancers of Bali and other international artists who likewise share a love and commitment to practicing Balinese Arts, and to build lasting relationships and connections in the field.
The dance ensemble is preparing to perform some of Bali's most challenging repertoire, and has been an active part of reviving and revitalizing a North Balinese masterpiece on the verge of being lost from Bali’s living repertoire. The dancers will also feature other seminal repertoire in a festival performance that will be attended by thousands of Balinese and international audience members, Balinese master artists, and the Indonesian press. GSJ is being offered a once in a lifetime opportunity by internationally renowned artist & museum director I Nyoman Gunarsa, and the museum’s festival curators, to partake in and contribute to this historical moment in the Island’s ever-evolving performing tradition.
In addition to sharing the stage with master performers, GSJ’s dancers will receive preparatory training from some of Bali’s most highly regarded dancers: Ni Ketut Arini, Bapak Madé Kranca, & I Nyoman Cerita. Being in the milieu with other Balinese artists will offer a rich understanding of dance practice as it lives in Bali, and will allow the dancers to deeply identify with the art form they practice. This period of cultural immersion and focused preparation will be a catalyst for artistic development—motivating the dancers to further refine their technique, challenging them to understand their work in its cultural context, and amplifying their endurance for intensive practice.
It must also be pointed out what an incredible opportunity it will be for the dancers to work with a premiere Balinese gamelan ensemble. The level of musical nuance, dynamic, speed, accuracy, feeling, and depth of artistic delivery that Gamelan Çudamani beholds is quite rare and beautiful, even by Bali’s rigorous standards. For GSJ’s dancers to be able to work with an ensemble that has such clarity of voice, and unity in delivery will help them cultivate a more robust and integrated relationship between each movement and its corresponding musical counterpart.
The Works to be Toured
Teruna Jaya Peliatan
This virtuosic masterpiece—a hallmark of North Bali’s kebyar style—inspired by the powerful emotions and energy of youth, was adapted in the mid twentieth century by I Gede Manik and Pan Wandres. The original version of this virtuoso work, called Kebyar Legong, was created in the early twentieth century, a time of fervent artistic innovation during which the explosive kebyar style was born. Teruna Jaya “Victorious Youth” is a dance of great vitality, depicting the shifting moods of adolescence. As in many other Balinese dances, a female performer portrays the character of a young man, whose moods are revealed in rapid changes of dynamics, tempo, and melodic figuration. The version to be toured is a regionally stylized interpretation of "Teruna Jaya" that is rarely performed outside of the Peliatan area of Bali. GSJ is the first non-Balinese group to study and perform this highly complex and dynamic version of the work.
Tari Legong Pengeleb
Creators: Pan Cening Winten and Pan Wandres (Wayan Peraupan); Reconstructed by Made Kranca, Pan Carik (Made Redita), Kocok (I Made Pasca Wirasutha) & Gamelan
A stunning tribute to North Bali’s artistic leadership, Tari Legong Pengeleb is a masterpiece of the kebyar genre, almost lost from Bali’s living repertoire, featuring dynamic rhythms, precise and ornamented connections between music and dance, and constant melodic shifts. This piece, originally created in the early 20th century, was part of the musical explosion that has thrived for nearly a century now in Bali. This will be the first time a foreign group has performed this piece in Bali, and will thus be an historic moment for the region of North Bali. The Master artists originally involved in the reconstruction of this piece in 2010 will be invited to give feedback as artists make final preparations for performance and will be honored guests at the Festival itself.
A classic and beloved work of Balinese dance, this refined female piece is inspired by Bali’s tradition temple dancing as ritual offering. Gabor is often performed in the most sacred, inner courtyard of the temple, and directed towards the shrines that the gods are believed to inhabit for the duration of the ceremony. Gabor may be presented in secular contexts as well, for example at the beginning of a concert program, where it is then referred to as a “dance of welcome,” intended as a gesture of goodwill to the audience and honored guests.
Gamelan Sekar Jaya’s History with the Gunarsa Museum
This will be the second time that GSJ performs at the Museum Gunarsa. In 1995, GSJ performed at the for a family ceremony and community festival event. In the seventeen years since that time, both organizations have expanded their work: GSJ is now including more elements of visual arts in performance, such as shadow work and painting, while the Museum has hosted increasingly high profile performances. It is fitting that as the Museum Gunarsa opens its International Festival and its new six-thousand-seat open air theater, that this relationship should be strengthened again by a performance of GSJ as one of the highlights of the inaugural Festival.
Since 1995, GSJ’s ensembles have toured multiple times to other regions of Bali, including Denpasar, Negara, Gianyar, Karengasem, Tabanan, and Buleleng in a range of venues including large international festivals, to small ceremonial village performances. Many international artists do not perform in locations beyond Denpasar and Ubud, as they are more remote and harder to make arrangements for logistically. GSJ has always worked to maintain an active relationship with all the regions of Bali from which the artistic traditions originate and evolve. Klungkung Kingdom was the center of the Golden Age of Balinese History, and was considered to be the highest and most important of the nine kingdoms of Bali from the late 17th until the early twentieth century. It is considered the historical center of Balinese high culture, and is known as the source of many of Bali’s refined performing traditions such as Telek, Barong, and Baris Gede. Additionally, Klungkung is known internationally for its rich literary traditions and is considered the birthplace of Classical Balinese Painting.
By returning to this culturally and historically rich region after so many years, a new generation of GSJ’s dancers will build personal connections to the place or origin of many of the art forms to which they devote their energy. Furthermore, GSJ will establish and revitalize important relationships with the region’s artists.
Performing this Festival is an important and timely opportunity that will offer experiences that will contribute enduring advancements for each dancer, will allow GSJ to once-again participate directly in Bali’s arts scene, and will in-turn renew the lasting rapport between GSJ and the artists and audiences of Bali.
About The Museum Gunarsa
Museum Gunarsa has a long history of groundbreaking work in Balinese classical and contemporary painting and for decades has been a major figure in the international world of visual arts. The museum has hosted exhibitions of artists from Indonesia, the US, Canada, Germany, UK, Australia, Japan, and Italy. The Museum is a leader in HIMUSBA, Bali's Museum Association, and as such, its work in integrating the presentation of visual and performing arts has a wide reaching impact. Community festivals centered around Bali's tradition of temple festivals happen every 210 days at the Museum featuring local performers from East Bali.
The 2005 Barong Festival is a celebrated part of the museum’s history of presenting performing arts. In contrast to previous festivals that had a more regional specialization, the 2005 Festival included artists from each of Bali's nine regions. This event had tremendous press coverage, even during the pre-festival curatorial process. It was the first major non-government festival of its kind, and was met with an enthusiastic response from the public, press and arts community. It was one of the grandest Barong events in Balinese history with over 20,000 attendees over the three-day event.
The Barong Festival sparked public demand for another festival. The Museum Gunarsa responded to the call by building a new outdoor amphitheater stage “Surya Candra,” with a seating capacity of 6,000, making it one of the largest performing venues on the island. The 2012 Festival will be its first major event. Surya Candra and the Museum’s international exhibition halls lay on eight acres of land in Klungkung, East Bali. This venue is both a tribute to the vibrant life of the arts in this region and to Museum Gunarsa’s commitment to further integrating the fields of visual and performing arts.
About the 2012 Festival
The current expansion of the Gunarsa Museum into the presentation of international performing artists builds on decades of experience hosting exhibitions and seminars for visual arts on the international level. The Festival of Balinese Dance and Music will be held in conjunction with the Festival of Classical Balinese Painting and has already generated interest.
See link for recent television feature on the festival:
This two-week festival will open July 15th in Klungkung, Bali, and will include exhibitions of Kamasan painting, one of Bali’s artistic treasures, and a performance series. The reach and impact these performing traditions have had across the globe will be highlighted by featuring traditional Balinese works performed by Balinese, American, and Japanese artists.
This Year’s Artists
There will be performances by Balinese, Japanese, Australian and American Performing Artists and Ensembles. Examples include: Jumpai Village, Klungkung, Bali - Telek and Barong demonstration; Gamelan Çudamani, Gianyar, Bali - Innovative works in Balinese gamelan and dance; Gamelan Sekar Jaya - USA
There will also be lecture series and exhibits by Visual Artist and Scholars, including: Siobhan Campbell - Australia; Joseph Fischer - Art Collector and Scholar on Balinese arts - USA; Greogry Ghent - Expert on Asian Art & Art Appraiser - USA.
Institutions Collaborating with Museum Gunarsa to produce The Festival: Governor of Bali; Australian Museum, Sydney; and Leiden Museum, Holland.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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