Gamelan Sekar Jaya: Music and Dance of Bali

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On Friday, November 2nd, the Rhythmix Island Arts will feature Gamelan Sekar Jaya: Music and Dance of Bali. The event will take place at 2513 Blanding Avenue, Alameda at 7:30 p.m. and be filled with sparkling melodies, shimmering timbres, refined beauty and tempestuous drama with Balinese gamelan and dance. Gamelan Sekar Jaya and world-renowned Balinese artist I Made Subandi, will lead three unique gamelan ensembles gamelan angklung; gendér wayang quartet; and Bali’s most famous gamelan, the gong kebyarcomplete with gongs, flutes, and drums. Luh Andarawati will lead the ensemble in beautifully choreographed traditional and contemporary Balinese dance.

Gamelan Sekar Jaya’s music and dance range from traditional Balinese repertoire to cutting-edge compositions. The sixty plus company of musicians and dancers of GSJ play on several sets of Balinese instruments, consisting of various combinations of bronze-keyed metallophones, bamboo marimbas, gongs, drums, and flutes. Gamelan Sekar Jaya is the only foreign group to ever receive the Dharma Kusuma, Bali’s highest award for artistic achievement. The company is renowned for its exploration of traditional and modern forms through long-term residencies with Bali’s finest musicians and dancers. Formed in 1979, the orchestra has performed in various settings and venues from the bustling village squares in Bali to the famed Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

I MADE SUBANDI, GSJ Guest Music Director, is one of Bali’s most internationally recognized modern composers. Known for his love of experimentation, he is in high demand internationally for his innovative compositions. He is a graduate of Bali’s National Institute of the Arts (STSI Denpasar) and has taught for many years at the Indonesian Academy of Performing Arts (SMKI) in Bali.

Luh Andarawati, GSJ Guest Dance Teacher, from the Balinese village of Banda, began her study of Balinese dance at the young age five with Ketut Sumantra, and has studied with many master dance teachers including Ni Ketut Arini, Tjokorda Istri Putra Padmini, Bapak Kranca, Bapak Cerita, I Wayan Budiarsa, I Nyoman Wenten, and many others. She is currently a leading company dancer and dance teacher in Gamelan Sekar Jaya, and has just recently returned from an intensive study & performance tour in Bali.

This concert made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.

**Members of Gamelan Sekar Jaya and Balinese Master Artist-in-Residence I Made Subandi will also be teaching a Kecak & Gamelan Angklung Workshop at Girls Inc. of the Island City before the concert.

Kecak or “cak” originated as a form of music that brought together villages in Bali during times of epidemic or strife to bring spiritual and physical well-being to the community. It has developed into a creative performance form, but still maintains a powerful spiritual practice in some villages, and brings a feeling of strengthened community and well-being to performers and audience alike wherever it is practiced. Master artist Pak Subandi, with assistance from Sekar Jaya members, will teach students the fundamental structures, interlocking rhythmic patterns, and accompanying movement that characterizes this incredibly energetic and collaborative tradition. Students will also gain hands-on experience playing Balinese gamelan music using four-keyed bronze angklung instruments.

This concert is made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.

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