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Gamelan Sekar Jaya

Performances in
World Arts West Programs
Balinese Monkey King’s Dance
Topeng Pajegan
Oleg Tambulilingan ("Bumblebee" Dance)
Drama Tari
Instruments Used
Gamelan orchestra instruments
The ensembles that performed in People Like Me 2005: It’s All Relative, People Like Me 2002: Face to Face! and People Like Me 2000 were small subsets of a forty-five member ensemble of musicians and dancers, based in El Cerrito, which has made the performing arts of Bali its specialty. The active community of artists that has formed within and around Gamelan Sekar Jaya reflects the living artistic traditions of Bali itself. Gamelan Sekar Jaya is seen in Indonesia not only as a flowering of Balinese arts in a culturally distant land, but also as a laboratory for the creation of new artistic ideas.

Founded in 1979, the group has presented more than three hundred concerts throughout California and on tours around the United States as well as to Canada, Mexico, and Bali itself. The is devoted to both traditional repertoire and innovative work. Since 1979, it has sponsored the creation of more than 50 major new works for gamelan and dance, created both by the Balinese artists who have joined the ensemble as guest directors and, more recently, by the group's American members.

Sekar Jaya drummerGamelan Sekar Jaya's collaborative partners have included two symphony orchestras, (the Oakland East Bay Symphony and the California Symphony); a Bay Area quintet of percussionists, singers, and dancers (Keith Terry's Crosspulse); a theater company specializing in innovative shadow-lighting techniques (ShadowLight Productions); a South Indian dance troupe (the Abhinaya Dance Company); a music ensemble specializing in live accompaniment to silent films (the Club Foot Orchestra); and a North Indian master of kathak dance (Chitresh Das).

In 1999, Sekar Jaya performed at the World Festival of Sacred Music at the Hollywood Bowl and at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. In February 2001, and in 2003, Sekar Jaya performed the critically acclaimed Kawit Legong: Prince Karna's Dream at Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall. During the group's tour to Bali in June-July 2000, it was selected to receive a Dharma Kusuma award -- Bali's highest award for artistic achievement, never before given to foreign performers.

I Madé Moja, featured performer in People Like Me 2005, is a prominent Balinese painter, dancer, mask maker, and theater artist who lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. In the visual arts, his primary background is in traditional Balinese ink and watercolor painting. His work has been shown internationally and is featured in numerous books on Balinese art and culture. Since relocating to the United States, Moja has expanded his artistic repertoire to include puppetry, theater and dance.

Working with San Francisco-based ShadowLight Productions, Moja recently performed the lead roles in "The Seven Visions of Encarnation" and "Tales from Native California: Coyote's Journey." As a lead dancer with Gamelan Sekar Jaya, he performs a variety of traditional male dance roles. Moja shares his artistic expertise with children by providing workshops at local Bay Area schools, through various educational programs including Young Audiences of the Bay Area, AYPAL (Asian Pacific Islander Youth Promoting Advocacy and Leadership) Cal Performance's SchoolTime and Cal Performances in the Classroom, and Music in the Schools (Oakland Youth Chorus).

I Nyoman Sumandhi, guest artist in People Like Me 2002, is an expert performer of the gender wayang, the topeng dance, and other forms of Balinese music and dance, as well as shadow puppetry. Sumandhi, was born into a family of dalangs or traditional Balinese puppet masters, and he followed in his father's footsteps. Becoming a dalang involves a mastery of traditional Balinese music, dance, and choreography, as well as the repertoire and theatrical techniques associated with the wayang kulit or shadow puppet theater, which is regarded as the pinnacle of the arts in Bali.

To find out more about Gamelan Sekar Jaya's activities, please call (510) 237-6849 or visit


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