World Arts West
SF Ethnic Dance Festival


Chandra Ayu Davies

Dance Origin: Bali, Indonesia
: Condong
Artistic Director:
Kompiang Metri-Davies 
First Appearance in SF EDF: 2010

Balinese dance and music evolved in the ornate ceremonies of Balinese-Hindu culture, and it continues to evolve. Every gamelan orchestra performance includes dance. The tight poise of the body, tremble of fingers, and gestures of hand, foot, and eye are synchronized with musical accents, dynamics, and rhythms, as well as the longer gong cycles. Instruments include melodic gongs, xylophones, flutes, cymbals, and the kajar—a bronze pot. The tong marks the half or quarter cycle, and the gong marks a cycle's end.  

Chandra Ayu Davies, as the daughter of Balinese dancer Kompiang Metri-Davies, was dancing even before she was born. Chandra has trained since age five and performed at fundraisers, weddings, Indonesian Independence Day celebrations, the UC Berkeley Spring Festival, and with the Balinese dance company, Gadung Kasturi. She receives training from Kompiang Metri-Davies, Artistic Director of Gadung Kasturi Balinese Dance and Music Inc.


Title: Condong (Court Attendant)
: Chandra Ayu Davies

Eight-year-old Chandra Ayu Davies, one of the Festival's youngest dance soloists, performs Condong, a dance traditionally performed by the tiniest Balinese dancers. The condong is a female attendant of the Balinese court. The origins of this dance are in ancient storytelling events: where the condong sang and talked about her life. Over centuries, the form evolved into a stylized, abstract dance. We can still read some of the story, as the young servant scolds her master and works so hard she is ready to drop. The piece is excerpted from the two-hour Legong Keraton, created in the 19th-century by King Manggis of Gianyar. His artists combined gambuh dance-drama improvisation with a dance called Sanghyang Legong.  

In traditional Bali, every palace maintained a legong (dance) team. Young, graceful village girls were invited to live in the palace and receive training from master dancers. A legong team performs three roles: the condong, prince, and princess.

Chandra Ayu's traditional costume is based on Balinese temple attire. The ampok-ampok belt symbolizes restraint of passion; the lamak bodice symbolizes softness; a leather headdress honors the head as a holy temple; earrings indicate one should use the ears wisely; and bracelets represent doing good with the hands.

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