Spotlight Indonesia

American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (A.I.C.C.), the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in New York, and Asian Cultural Center of Vermont (ACCVT) present:

Spotlight Indonesia: An Evening of Indonesian and Indonesian-Inspired Performance

Thursday, April 30, 7pm, at the Latchis Theatre, 50 Main St., Brattleboro, Vermont
Media sponsor: Artscope: New England’s Arts and Culture Magazine

The Program:

  • Balinese Dances performed by Dr. I Made Bandem, Ida Ayu Ari Candrawati, and Nyoman Saptanyana
  • Duets with Gamelan Instruments performed by Dr. I Made Bandem and Nyoman Saptanyana
  • World Premiere of two movements from Five Gamelans for Brass composed by Derrik Jordan, performed by the Heritage Brass Quintet
  • Music inspired by Indonesia and its music: Claude Debussy, Pagodes and a contemporary transcultural piece (a surprise!), Hugh Keelan, piano

Spotlight Indonesia performances banner
The Performers:

Spotlight Indonesia in Brattleboro features Balinese Dances by Dr. Bandem and the Consulate’s Performing Ensemble Principals & Masters

1. Kebyar Duduk Dance (1925)
The explosive and mercurial kebyar style swept Bali in the early part of the 20th century; it remains predominant today. Duduk simply means ‘sitting’ for reasons which will be abundantly clear to the viewer: the dancer only stands to enter and exit the stage. Its creator, I Mario, was the first Balinese dancer to achieve international renown, with this particular dance as his signature. Unlike most Balinese dance, it is abstract in nature, having neither story line nor attachment to ritual. Like all Balinese dance, however, it is concerned with the expression of character, in this case the range of emotions of idealized young man, “from sweet flirtatiousness through bashfulness, melancholy, and angry bravado” (Bandem and deBoer. Balinese Dance in Transition, Oxford University Press, 1995).

Dancer: I Made Bandem.

2. Barong Ket Dance.
This is the best known of Balinese Barong types. Resembling a dragon-like lion, it serves as the guardian spirit of a village. The Barong Ket has beard of human hair, long fur, feathers, bells, and mirrored leather ornaments all over its body. The Barong character is usually manipulated by two men who take it through complex, yet comic, dance movements. In this specially composed Barong, the figure will be performed by a single dancer.

Dancer: Nyoman Saptanyana.

3. Tarunajaya Dance.
Taruna Jaya means “Victorious Youth.” This dance describes the many mood of a youth: coyness, bashfulness, irritability, sweetness, and of course, energy. Strong eye movements are a prominent feature, and often include nelik, a wide eyed stare. The costume usually dark purple, uses a head cloth with a unique shape, a long sleeved tunic and a kain pleated on the left side with the end dangling. This dance was choreographed by I Gede Manik from North Bali in 1952. (Dibia and Ballinger. Balinese Dance, Drama and Music, Periplus, 2004).

Dancer: Ida Ayu Ari Candrawati.

4. Cak Dance.
The Cak or Kechak dance is a more recent, but extremely popular, type of dance. Sometimes called the ‘Monkey Dance’ this composite genre was created by dancers in the Bedulu village, Gianyar Province. The troupe was commissioned by Walter Spies to devise a new kind of story telling performance that would be based on the great epic tale The Ramayana, but accompanied solely by a Cak chorus like that found in Sang Hyang Dedari, an old rite of exorcism. In the Cak, the choral group consists of dozen men or (sometimes into the hundreds), each making a distinctive ‘chak, chak, chak’ sound that blends into a complex rhythmic pattern to assist the dancers in sustaining a trance condition.

Danced by the visiting dancers with the participation of some students of local schools who attended a workshop with the dancers. The audience has a role in this part of the program, too.
Spotlight Indonesia in Brattleboro features Gamelan Duets of Dr. Bandem and Nyoman Saptanyana.
The two pieces played in duet are called Tabuh Telu Gesuri (a strong and complicated interlocking figuration) and Tumulilingan ( a refine and sweet bumble bee tones). The musical ensemble that accompanying the dances is called Gamelan Gong Kebyar. The Gong Kebyar gamelan is the large versatile modern concert orchestra which was born around 1915 in north Bali. It consists of percussion instruments such as gongs, drums, metallophones, and knob gongs in row. Music played on the Kebyar consists for the most part of new compositions based on older pieces, in free variation. It uses the pelog five tone scale of tuning and borrows elements of the repertoires of all kinds of gamelan and appropriates their functions in ritual and drum accompaniment. The word ‘kebyar’ means bursting in the sense of a sudden bursting into flames or flowers bursting open. The virtuoso style has influenced other kinds of gamelan, freeing both music and dance from ritual restriction in the temples and palaces.