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Amsterdam Tropen Museum Gamelan Festival June 2007

North Bali participates

The Rehearsal for the Festival Gamelan International Amsterdam 2007.

As one of the people of Buleleng, I am very proud of the Buleleng culture. It has unique features that makes it different from the culture in other areas in Bali. Last evening, I attended the rehearsal of a Gong Kebyar group from Banyuatis village the Lovina open stage. The group, from Sanggar Tri Bhuana Giri Banyuatis, will perform at the Festival Gamelan International Amsterdam 2007 in the Amsterdam Tropen Museum from 13th of June, 2007. The local government by means of the Tourism and Culture Agency of the Buleleng regency has prepared the group for several months for this festival.

I sat in the third row. In front of me were the regent, Gede Wardana, the former regent, Wirata Shindu, the head of tourism and Culture of Buleleng regency, the coordinator of Listibia Buleleng, the chief of District Military Command, the candidates of regents and deputy regents, elite figures, senior artists, cultural observers, the people from Banyuatis villages and nearby Lovina, and several tourists as well.

The first item of the program was the opening speech from the coordinator of Listibia Buleleng, North Bali Culture and Heritage Preservation Foundation, I Gusti Bagus Sudiatmaka Sugriwa. He explained that Buleleng had a typical identity in term of Gong Kebyar. Gong Kebyar itself appeared for the first time in Buleleng regency in 1914. In the early stages, Gong Kebyar was performed as an accompaniment of local ceremonies, and then developed to be the accompaniment of the dances. That’s why Buleleng regency was given an authority to prepare its artists to attend the international festival. The artists prepared Gong Pacek that only exists in North Bali. This tall man also informed the audience that the group from Sanggar Tri Bhuana Giri Banyuatis will participate in Bali Art Festival in Denpasar on July 2007.

The audience gave applause when Gusti Bagus introduced the people behind the group, who have an important role in the preparation of this Gong Pacek performance. He started from I Wayan Dibya, the senior artist, cultural observer, the former head and now the senior lecturer of Indonesian art Institute, ISI Denpasar, and also the sponsor of this group. Then he moved to Arnawa and Sumiasa, the composers of the tabuh kreasi or creation instrument, and Suarsana, the composer of tabuh Bleganjur. Besides tabuh or gong instrument, there will be two Balinese dances, Palawakya and Teruna Jaya dances. Both of these dances were the typical of North Bali and created by a North Bali artist, the late I Gede Manik. His name now is used as the name of Singaraja Auditorium, Gedung Kesenian Gede manik.

The second speech was delivered by the sponsor, I Wayan Dibya. When he taught in the Summer School in Amsterdam several months ago, his companions and he agreed to conduct an international gamelan festival. For the representative of Indonesia, through many considerations, he decided to send a Gong Kebyar group from North Bali. He hoped this unique culture will not be left by the local people, will not lose its spirit or even disappear. This culture can be used to improve the good image of Indonesia in the world. He added, besides sending 25 people, including the gong players, dancers, and officials from North Bali, there will be also Jegog group from Jembrana regency and Gamelan Jawa to present the richness of Indonesian culture.

After short speech delivered by the Buleleng regent stating his pride in the group, the group started their performance by performing Tabuh Lelonggoran. It was followed by Tabuh Kreasi, Palawakya dance by Putu Rina Pebriana, a young Balinese girl, the second Tabuh Kreasi, then continued by Tabuh Bleganjur and the great performance came to the end after the presentation of Teruna Jaya dance by I Putu Dian Purwanti.

The audience enjoyed the performance very much. It ended  at 10 pm.

More information from the Tropen Museum (Tropen Theater] in Amsterdam: Tropen Theater Programma


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