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Tanah Lot Art Festival 2009, Bali – Indonesia

Written by ttalk from http://www.travelertalk.com | Category: Indonesia on April 27th, 2009 | 0 Comments | 2,273 views

Tanah Lot Art Festival 2009 will be held on May 30 until June 7, 2009. The Art festival will take place at Surya Mandala Cultural Park Tanah Lot. Beside Balinese dances performance, there will be exhibition of art and many other activities. Tanah Lot Art Festival will be opened by Head regency of Tabanan, Mr. Adi WIryatama. Many kind of Balinese dances will showed on this festival. The purpose is to keep the Balinese art and culture and more introducing Balinese culture to the world. Some of Balinese dances are :  Barong dance, Baris dance, Barong bangkung dance, Topeng Bondres dance, Wayang wong dance, Joged Bumbung dance, Gong Festival, Clasical Art “Mandolin”, Clasical Art “Andir”, Wayang Cenk Blonk, and others.

Barong : this mythical creature with its lion type head and shaggy fur made out of a type of grass (prasot) is a delight to watch. Two men dance him, one at the head, who is the front legs and one at the back, who is the hind legs. The costume itself weighs about 70 kilos and takes great skill and strength to handle. The Barong is the protector of the village and with his counterpart, Rangda the witch they make up the worlds of white and black magic, respectively. Their masks are kept in the temple, where they are routinely blessed and given offerings.

The Barong Dance usually seen by visitors in Batubulan depicts an episode from the the ancient Indian tale, the Mahabharata. The Balinese prefer the story of Calonarang which tells the true story of a Balinese prince who married an East Javanese princess who became a witch and tried to destroy the kingdom. In both stories, there is the classic fight between good and evil but here neither side wins, rather a balance is struck between the two to be re-enacted again and again at rituals. At the end of the dance, the villagers often go into a state of trance when they see that their Barong is in danger and they will rush the Rangda and stab her with their kris (dagger). She overpowers them and they stab themselves, only to be brought out of their altered state by holy water which has the Barongs beard dipped in it.

Topeng is a form of mask dance and actually means “pressed against the face”. The full performance of this is danced by five men who are constantly changing masks to portray different characters. This is one form where the story is of Balinese and not Indian origins, depicting the life and rituals of Balinese royalty throughout the ages. What you are most likely to see is the dance of the old prime minister (Topeng Tua) who remembers how he used to dance in his glorious youth or the young prime minister (Topeng Keras) with his red or brown mask, who shows off his prowess as the king’s assistant.

Baris: the warrior dance is the first dance a young boy usually learns. Extremely demanding in its execution, the dancer must raise his shoulders and elbows high up and keep the energy going strong for a full fifteen minutes. This dance is done in three parts, all of which show off the prowess of a young warrior. He scouts out the space, checking for enemies and his quick steps with his out turned legs display his strength and agility. This is a semi-improvised dance and the musicians must follow the dancer’s moves carefully.

Joged Bumbung is the only “social” dance on the island. Named after the bamboo tubes (bumbung) of the orchestra, this lively form is quite popular among Balinese and visitors alike. Four to five dancers will enter the stage space, one at a time, dance with their fan and then go into the audience and then tap one of them on the shoulder. He or she is then obliged to dance with her. The object of the dance is to have fun, and to perhaps grab onto the dancer’s waist sash, although today there are more “erotic” forms.

Visit Tanah Lot Art Festival‘s official website.
The schedules of Tanah Lot Art Festival 2009.

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