Group photo of the UH Balinese Gamelan Ensemble
The Hawai'i Gamelan Society performed the last concert today of the 50-year anniversary celebration of the East-West Center. Imagine, the UH Music Department owns two complete sets of gamelan instruments, one from Central Java and one from Bali! Amazing.
The Javanese gamelan is called Kyahi Gandrung - The Venerable One in Love.
The Balinese gamelan was a gift from Ida Bagus Oka, former Governor of Bali, and is named Segara Madu - Sea of Honey.
The Javanese gamelan ensemble played the first part of the program with guest dancer BAGHAWAN CIPTONING, a dancer and choreographer from Surakarta, Indonesia. In 2005 he received the "Best Dance on Screen" award. His two dances, "Gatutkaca in Love" and "Tari Bugis" (a Buginese Warrior Dance from Sulawesi) were fantastic. Those intricate hand movements, the lunging legs, and (of course) his gorgeous costumes, were a feast for the eyes.
After a short intermission, barely long enough to enjoy the Nasi Kuning (yellow rice) dish that the Indonesian Student Club had prepared, it was time for the Balinese gamelan ensemble to take the stage.
There is such unrestrained joie de vivre in Balinese music, I could hardly sit still. Their guest dancer was I MADE SIDIA who is a world-renowned performing artist in masked dance, gamelan music, and shadow puppet theatre. He did four wonderful masked dances.
Phil and me with I Made Sidia
A beaming Made Sumayasa with his daughter.
Watching the dances and hearing the music made me want to go back to Bali again. Always the restless one. But I will contend myself with having the best of both worlds right here where I am because the UH Balinese Gamelan Ensemble performs twice a year in Hawaii. What more can I want? We had heaven on earth today.