NATIONAL/ETHNIC IDENTITY: Bali, Indonesia DIRECTOR: Emiko Susilo Saraswati First appearance in SF EDF: 1980 Website:www.gsj.org
Gamelan Sekar Jaya is a Bay Area company specializing in Balinese music and dance. Founded in 1979, GSJ has performed internationally—from New York’s Symphony Space, to the Hollywood Bowl, to remote Balinese villages. The only group outside of Indonesia to receive the Dharma Kusuma, Bali’s highest award for artistic achievement, GSJ is renowned for its exploration of traditional and modern forms through long-term residencies with Bali’s finest artists. Its mission is to foster artistic exchange between Bali and the US through residencies, workshops, performances, and the creation of innovative new works; and to share the excitement of this exchange.
DANCE ORIGIN: North Bali, Indonesia GENRE: Classical North Balinese Kebyar Dance TITLE:Pudak Sinunggal DIRECTOR: Emiko Saraswati Susilo CHOREOGRAPHER: Bapak Sindu; reconstruction by Bapak Keranca GUEST DANCE DIRECTOR: Bapak I Made Keranca GUEST MUSIC DIRECTOR: Ida Bagus Made Widnyana DANCERS: Gamelan Sekar Jaya company dancers under the direction of Guest Dance Director I Made Keranca MUSICIANS: David Aue, Lani Arofah, Phil Cox, Austin De Rubira, Bea Deering, Tom Deering (gong kebyar coordinator), Sara Gambina-Belknap, Todd Greenspan, Vanessa Harris, Steve Johnson, I Made Keranca, Clarence Magno, Lauren Miller, Rick Phillips, I Made Putrayasa, Anya Rome, Bruce Salvisberg, Peter Steele, Ida Bagus Made Widnyana, Rob Wilkins
Photo by RJ Muna
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Pudak Sinunggal is named for the mystically fragrant pudak flower mentioned in early Indonesian poetic texts. “Sinunggal” means “solo” or “standing alone.” In this presentation, a group of women dance in the androgynous bebancihan style, with a wide stance—shoulders held high and body kept taught—creating an image of masculine power.
Over centuries, Indonesian dance and music co-evolved inseparably. Dancers merge with music, seeking unity in every gesture, nuance, expression, phrase, and rhythmic change. A fluttering hand mirrors a rapid musical figuration; when a deep gong sounds, a glance falls. Movements derive from nature—the swaying of a tree, opening of a flower, bathing of a bird in a pool. Dancers also portray archetypal Balinese characters who are halus (refined) or kasar (coarse), or something in between.
Balinese dance has long been central to sacred activities at temples and springs, and today’s secular concerts also include dancers. The art is learned through direct transfer, a master teacher conveying everything through kinetic sensation. Adjusting a posture perfects a movement; a smile conveys gentleness; a fiery glance demands an aggressive move. Teachers sing gong strokes, drum accents, and melodies—fusing musical connections in the dancer’s mind and body. With a deep understanding of musical forms, a dancer’s movements cue musicians to begin, change pace, or create musical accents.
The music is from a kebyar-style gamelan, a gong orchestra with a great number and diverse tuning of gongs—created in the village of Menyali in the 1940’s, in Northern Bali. Virtuoso musicians play unbelievably fast, hitting between each other’s beats, while the low kebyar gong sustains musical structure. Pudak Sinunggal, created by Bapak Putu Kota (music) and Bapak Sindu (dance), also first appeared in 1940’s Menyali. It was reconstructed by renowned kebyar master Bapak I Made Keranca in 2014, with artistic support from Çudamani, taught to Gamelan Sekar Jaya Guest Dance Director Ni Luh Andarawati, and set for our stage. Guest Music Director Ida Bagus Made Widnyana leads the 20 musician ensemble.
The costume shows the pudak flower’s palm frond shape in the headdress and bodice, and traditional bebancihan short pants and pleated over-skirt allow for the wide plié stance of the androgynous form.
DANCE ORIGIN: Bali,
Indonesia GENRE: Traditional TITLE: Tari Gabor ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: Emiko
Susilo Saraswati CHOREOGRAPHY: I Wayan
Beratha, I Gusti Raka, Arranged By: Ni Luh Andarawati, Ni Ketut Arini DANCERS: Ni Luh
Andarawati, Anna Deering, Nina Herlina, Susan Lamberth, Rose Nisker MUSICIANS: Sara
Gambina-Belknap, Phil Cox, Matthew Gleeson, Evan Gilman, Keenan Pepper, I Made
Subandi (Guest Music Director), Paddy Sandino, Wayne Vitale, Sarah
Tari Gabor is a modern
arrangement of traditional offering dances from a Balinese
temple—known as ceremonial rejang—that are performed by women as
community devotion. In the temple courtyard, dancers
gracefully waft incense; others dance backwards through the
temple gate, welcoming holy water brought from a sacred spring. This
dance is a prayer, and it is also presented in secular contexts, as an
opening dance of welcome and goodwill to you, the honored
In all Balinese
performance, the dance and music is tightly coordinated, as performers
seek perfect unity with each other in gesture, nuance,
expression, phrase, and rhythmic change. With amazing in-the-moment
speed, dancers cue musicians to start and stop, speed up, or accent
beats. Dancers also respond intuitively to the gamelan music: a
fluttering hand mirrors a rapid musical figuration, or an eye
movement falls with a deep gong tone.
Some Indonesian dance
movements are based on sacred mudra hand gestures, but far
more derive from nature—the swaying of trees, the flitting of a
lizard, the quick movements of deer. Also, a dancer’s skill often lies
in portraying a character from an archetypal Balinese story. This
complex form must be learned directly from master performers, through
kinesthetic transmission of subtle movement, sensation, and
In Tari Gabor, dancers
wear headdresses of golden flowers and traditional batik textiles, evoking an
ancient and deep respect for nature. This ceremony is
traditionally danced to a bronze gamelan, but today’s light-hearted
and joyful music—arranged by Guest Music Director I Dewa Putu
Berata—is played on the gamelan rindik: tuned bamboo
(grantang) tubes, end-blown bamboo flute, and percussion. Musicians
on grantang play core melodies with left hands and
interlocking figurations with the right.
This dance was created in 1969 by I
Gusti Raka and revised by I Wayan Beratha in 1970. Ni Luh Andarawati set the
piece for Gamelan Sekar Jaya with additional arrangements by Ni Ketut Arini. All Sekar Jaya dancers are
encouraged to learn this dance as a core piece of traditional temple offering
Balinese dancers perform.
TITLES: Lambang to Bungur (Pusaka Sunda) Bulan Tumanggal (Pusaka Sunda) Legong Somia (Gamelan Sekar Jaya) Kelanguan (Gamelan Sekar Jaya) Tari Merak / Tari Topeng Rahwana (Pusaka Sunda) Kerjasama (Pak Burhan Sukarma and Pak Dewa Berata) Gagak Lumayung (Pusaka Sunda) Tari Legong Pengeleb (Gamelan Sekar Jaya)
Sangkala (Pusaka Sunda) And the world premiere of: Bayangan Jiwa (“the spirit’s
image” or “the imagination of the spirit”) a work for dance,
shadow, semarandana, and gender wayang. The piece by Dewa Berata and
Emiko Saraswati Susilo investigates how childlike
playfulness, physical and spiritual training, and divine inspiration
come together in the body and spirit of dancers and musicians
as the soul searches for a connection to its eternal self. The
piece draws from a rich and dynamic repertoire of movement that explores
the wide range of human characters—feminine and masculine, lyrical and
powerful—each distinct and unique
and yet deeply connected to one another.
GAMELAN SEKAR JAYA PERFORMERS: Ni Luh Andarawati, Sean
Aquino, David Aue (Gong Kebyar Coordinator), Dan Bales, Brian
Baumbusch, Tim Black, Alexis Brayton, Clive Brown, Lauren Buckley-Miller,
Marianna Cherry, Phil Cox, Anna Deering, Bea Deering, Tom Deering, Carla
Fabrizio (Assisting Teacher), Sara Gambina-Belknap, (GSJ General Manager), Ed
Garcia (Angklung Coordinator), Gregory Ghent, Darren Gibbs, Evan
Gilman (Vice President), Matt Gleeson, Lisa Gold (Gender Wayang
Coordinator), Barbara Golden, Lisa Graciano, Todd Greenspan (Treasurer), Reiko
Hasegawa, Zachary Hejny, Nina Herlina, Andrej Hronco (Gong Kebyar
Coordinator), Steve Johnson (Angklung Coordinator), Colum Keelaghan,
Susan Lamberth (Dance Coordinator), Dewa Ayu Dewi Larassanti, Debbie
Lloyd, Lydia Martín, Paul Miller, Mudita Nisker (Member-at-large), Rose Nisker
(President), Keenan Pepper, Ellen Perlman (Secretary), I Made
Putrayasa, Dewa Putu Berata (Guest Music Director), Emily Rolph, Paddy Sandino
(Member-at-Large), Dewa Gde Sanjaya, Emiko Saraswati Susilo (Director, Guest
Dance Director), Monali Varaiya (Secretary, Semaradana
Volunteer Coordinator), Nia Vitale, Wayne Vitale (Assisting Teacher), Sarah
Willner, Kim Workman, Rotrease Yates PUSAKA SUNDA PERFORMERS: Ed Garcia, Ika, Daniel Kelley,
Danni Redding Lapuz, Ray Lapuz, Margot Lederer Prado, Gretchen
McPherson, Kenneth Miller, Rieri Ramdani, Olivia Sears, Henry Spiller, Rae
Ann Stahl, Ariana
Suchranudin, Burhan Sukarma
This performance is a joyful coming together of two
excellent and well-established Bay Area gamelan* ensembles. Gamelan Sekar Jaya and Pusaka Sunda present new and
traditional works for Balinese gamelan semarandana, angklung, gender wayang & dance, and Sundanese gamelan degung and
About Pusaka Sunda: Burhan Sukarma was born and raised in the West Javanese
city of Karawang. In the 1970s and 1980s, he became one of the most influential Sundanese musicians of his generation,
and quite literally set the standard for the generations of
suling players that followed him. In 1988, Burhan relocated permanently
to San Jose, California, where he encountered a small group of
American musicians who were interested in Sundaneseperforming
arts. With the help of Rae Ann Stahl, he began to coalesce a
performing gamelan group to bring to fruition the many ideas he had
for adapting, rearranging, and recomposing the materials of traditional Sundanese music. He named the group Pusaka Sunda (“Sundanese heirloom”) to emphasize his vision of
the group as both a continuation of Sundanese tradition and
as a symbol of his own Sundanese identity in a new country.
TITLE:Teruna Jaya (Victorious Youth) GENRE:Kebyar COMPOSER/ARRANGER: I Gede Manik GUEST DANCE TEACHER: Ni Luh Andarawati GUEST MUSICAL DIRECTOR: I Made Arnawa DANCERS:Ni Luh Andarawati, Nina Herlina, Maria Omo MUSICIANS:
David Aue, Alexis Brayton, Phil Cox, Tom Deering, Bea Deering, Carla Fabrizio, Sara Gambina-Belknap, Ed Garcia, Evan Gilman, Matthew Gleeson, Lisa Gold, Todd Greenspan, Maddie Hogan, Andrej Hronco, Steve Johnson, Debbie Lloyd, Lydia Martin, Mudita Nisker, Keenan Pepper, Ellen Perlman, Emily Rolph, Joseph Paddy Sandino, Ansel Schmidt (gong coordinator), Wayne Vitale (assistant teacher), Sarah Willner, Ben Zadan
Classical Balinese dance has three genders: male, female, and—honoring human complexity—androgynous. Teruna Jaya—Victorious Youth, is a beloved masterpiece in the androgynous bebancihan style. Three female dancers depict a volatile and moody character: a young man going through puberty. The piece was created in the 1950s by Gede Manik from North Bali. The character quickly became popular, regions adapted the dance, and it became a virtuosic piece. Putting on the costume takes about two hours, with layers of gold-painted cloth, leather, and male make-up. The headdress is a masculine style, as is the loose-fitting kamben sarong.
The Indonesian gamelan orchestra has bronze, iron, wood, and/or bamboo percussion instruments, and from two to thirty players. Today’s performance is drawn from the villages of Pengosekan and Pegosek in South Central Bali, areas known for intricate drumming and dance. The musicians are said to marry their instruments and fellow performers: and the performers communicate intimately in every nuance of movement and sound, rhythm, tempo, and emotion. The musicians play as fast as they can, between each others’ beats, while the low-toned kebyar gong outlines the structure.
Several teachers worked with Gamelan Sekar Jaya to bring this piece to the stage, primarily: Ni Luh Andarawati, beloved teacher and featured soloist; I Made Arnawa, internationally revered composer and spiritual leader; I Dewa Putu Berata, renowned performer and teacher; and I Ketut Wirtawan, renowned Balinese dancer, musician, vocalist, puppeteer, painter, and master of the complicated dance-drama form, gambuh.
Thanks to Bali Advisor (www.BaliAdvisor.com) and the Alliance for California Traditional Arts for their support in making this piece possible.
Title: Subak Choreographer: I Made Moja Guest Dance Director: Emiko Sarawati Susilo Composer: I Dewa Putu Berata Jegog Ensemble Coordinators: Kathy Bouvier and Samuel Wantman Dancers: Sean Aquino, Anna Deering, Nina Herlina, Dewa Ayu Dewi Larassanti, I Made Moja, Rose Nisker, Maria Omo, Gayatri Saldivar, Emiko Sarawati Susilo, Samara Lotri Tana Musicians: Dan Bales, Scott Barnes, I Dewa Putu Berata, Susanna Benningfield, , Kathy Bouvier, Alexis Brayton, Phil Cox, Matthew Gleeson, Barbara Golden, Diana Graue, John Noble, Laurel Pardue, Heather Sansky, Monina Sen, Samuel Wantman, Kwan Wong
The dance Subak is a new work by I Made Moja, inspired by and in honor of Goddess Dewi Sri Laksmi, goddess of rice harvest and fertility. The dancers mimic digging trenches to branch water routes through fields; they till the soil and plant rice shoots. Then they hold a ceremony for abundance, carrying an image of Dewi Sri Laksmi to the jineng, the traditional home granary. In Bali-Hindu culture, cycles of life and seasons are honored in ritual and offerings. Balinese dance also abstracts movements from the natural world. This choreography includes lasan megat yeh (lizard crossing water); ngelo (bird soaring); ukel (the shape of a young fern); as well as various evocations of grasses, trees, or palm fronds swaying in the breeze. Water is suggested obliquely, as dancers mimic birds that see their reflections in the shallow water of the paddies.
OF PIECE: KALI
YUGA GUEST MUSIC
DIRECTOR: I Made Terip GUEST DIRECTOR:
Ellen Sebastian Chang GUEST CHOREOGRAPHER: I
Ketut Rina POET/LIBRETTIST: Goenawan
Mohamad GUEST PERFORMERS: Ni Ketut Arini, I
Wayan Budiarsa PERFORMERS: Ni Luh Estiti
Andarawati, Avi Black, Kathryn
Bodle, Dudley Brooks, Anna Deering, Bea
Deering, Laura Deering, Tom
Deering, Sonja Downing, Todd Greenspan, Jim
Hogan, Maddie Hogan, Steve
Johnson, Colum Keelaghan, Evan LaForge, Debbie
Lloyd, I Made Moja,
Mudita Nisker, I Made Putrayasa, Nicci Reisnour, Mark
Skelton, Molly Smart, Ketut Suardana, Christina Sunardi,
Wayne Vitale, Sarah Willner Kwan Wong.
Yuga, which refers to the cycle of decay and dissolution as outlined
the Hindu epic, the Bagawad Gita, is a tribute to the victims of Bali's
nightclub bombing in 2002. This catastrophe transformed Bali's
from an idyllic cultural mecca and tourist
destination to a locus of international
terrorism. It catapulted Bali
into a state of disaster and vulnerability, while
spawning a process of societal soul-searching.
Sekar Jaya's Kali Yuga is an intensive artistic response to
destructive event. It is a contemplative journey and a
questioning led by Bali's most revered artists. Poet and
Goenawan Mohamad, banned under the Suharto regime, has become one
Indonesia's leading intellectual critics. Choreographer I Ketut Rina,
Bali's most innovative, is joined by the celebrated gamelan leader and composer, I Made Terip, along with leading dancers Ni
Ketut Arini and I Wayan Budiarsa.
2005 Festival offering, Kali
Yuga, is a work-in-progress excerpt of an
evening-length dance drama to be premiered
in 2006. Involving an
interdisciplinary, cross-cultural team of world-class artists,
multi-year creative process and production is supported by the National
Project and other funders.
PIECES: Tari Nelayan (Fisherman's
(Flirtation dance) GUEST MUSIC
DIRECTOR: I Nyoman Windha GUEST DANCE
DIRECTOR: I Gusti Agung Ayu Warsiki DANCERS: Avi Black, Kompiang Metri-Davies (Saturday),
Made Moja, I Gusti Agung Ayu Warsiki, I Wayan Leger, and Rotrease
(Sunday) MUSICIANS: Susanna Miller
Benningfield, Kathy Bouvier,
Dudley Brooks, Valerie Harris, Lars Jensen,
Heather Sansky, Michael
Steadman, Wayne Vitale, Samuel Wantman, I Nyoman
Windha, and Kwan Wong.
The Gamelan Joged, presented in the 2004 Festival,
made of bamboo which come out of a folk tradition,
rather than the
bronze instruments which accompany the more typically seen
and court dances. The Gamelan Joged is often performed at
festivals, harvest celebrations and political gatherings.
The two pieces performed in the Festival each come from a rich secular
tradition. The first, Tari Nelayan, or,
is one of the few Balinese dances that focus on the
sea. It depicts
scenes of a group of fisherman, yet its deeper meaning
spirit and the earth's bounties. In Bali, the Hindu
god Vishnu is the
symbol of water. It is believed that the sea cleanses the
particular piece first written in the 1960s during a
time in Indonesia's history, is one of few that was
composed with a
political agenda. The words and movements encourage
as they allude to the cooperative efforts of
The second piece, Joged
Bumbung, translated as Flirtation
Dance, comes from a more obscure
improvised tradition popular in northern
and western Bali. It is an overtly
flirtatious dance typically performed
at parties. Through mockery and
humor, female dancers entice male audience
members to dance with them while
simultaneously snubbing their advances.
The often-untrained audience
members are left to sink or swim. These
pieces were adapted for the
Festival stage by guest dance director,
I Gusti Agung Ayu Warsiki, and
guest music director, I Nyoman Windha.