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Bali Art Festival in Buleleng

Preserving Balinese Culture

The 29th Bali Art Festival in the Buleleng regency has started on Friday, 18 May 2007. The opening ceremony, which was conducted in Tejakula sub district, was attended by Buleleng regent, Gede Wardana, the head of Culture and Tourism of Buleleng regency, Ida Bagus Puja Erawan, the artists and local villagers. Gede Wardana, in his opening speech stated that Culture, especially art, has been part of the Balinese life. Almost all of Balinese activities are colored by art. Preserving and developing Balinese culture are not only the job of the artists and cultural observer, but also all Balinese people. Therefore, Bali Art Festival is not the festivity for the artists only, but for all of us. The artist and cultural observers create something, the government facilitates, and the people enjoy it.

This year, the Bali art festival in Buleleng regency is not centered in one place, the Sasana Budaya cultural hall anymore like the years before, but spread in several places. It is to give opportunity to the people in the villages to take a part in the preparation and in enjoying the performances. The first performance, at the opening session in Tejakula sub district, were the performances of Children Gong Kebyar from Pasraman Dharma Utama, Sulanyah village, Seririt sub district and Adult Gong Kebyar from Sanggar Tri Bhuana Giri, Banyuatis village, Banjar sub district. Gong Kebyar performance is the favorite performance in every Bali Art festival. It was firstly appeared in North Bali in 1914.

The next day, Saturday, 19 May 2007, there were two Angklung performances in Nagesepaha village. The first one was from Banjar Kedu Panji village, Sukasada sub district and the second one from Sanggar Wahyu Samara Shanti Singaraja. Angklung is an ancient gamelan ensemble made up of gender, klentang, small kendang, klenang, penyacah, suling of flute and kempur. This instrument is usually used to accompany cremation ceremony in Bali, especially when the villagers fetch holy water or tirta.

In Sasana Budaya cultural hall, there were Balinese Percussion Instrumentally presented by Sabda Winangun group, Pemuteran village and Modern dance and gong music by Sanggar Seni Shanti Budaya Buleleng on Sunday, 20 May 2007. The percussion music was the integration of Balinese music (gerantang or rindik from bamboo gamelan) and Islamic music (rebana, ketipung, dembe). Religious and typical of Indonesian culture were reflected in every sound of this music. On the following day, there was Joged Mabarung performance, presented by Puspa Sari Joged group, Gesing village, Banjar sub district and jogged group from Ambengan village. Joged is a popular dance among Balinese. This dance is danced by girls, and after dancing for several minutes on the stage, the girls will invite the audiences one by one, usually the men, to dance together with her on the stage.

Semar pegulingan from Gobleg village and Prembon Mask from Semara Ratih group were performed in Gobleg village on Tuesday, May 22 2007. This gamelan is smaller that Gong Kebyar gamelan and it is usually used to accompany Barong and Legong dances. Besides the presentation of Buleleng artists, in this festival, there were also performances from Sangar Gases Badung and Jakarta art in Sasana Budaya cultural hall on Wednesday, 23 May 2007.

This Bali Art festival of Buleleng regency was closed on Friday, 25 May 2007 in Beji Temple Sangsit village. At this time, besides the performance of Children Gong Kebyar of Anturan village, there were program to give Wija Kusuma Awards to selected artists  and cultural observers for their achievement, concern, appreciation and dedication to Balinese art and culture, and award to the winners of Ogoh-ogoh festival, which was conducted last April on the celebration of Singaraja city anniversary.

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