• Home
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Print
  • Art
  • Photos
  • Live
  • Features
  • About
  • Sale
  • Instagram
  •  

    Tropical Heat Tour: Bali Part 5

    Saturday, July 7, 2012
    Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

    The temple at the Lotus Pond in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    The Chandra Wirabhuana gamelan performs at the Lotus Pond in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    The Chandra Wirabhuana gamelan performs at the Lotus Pond in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Chandra Wirabhuana performs the Penyambutan dance at the Lotus Pond in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    As a tourist mecca, Ubud is a great place to people watch. One thing the casual visitor will be quick to notice is how many female tourists walk around almost naked in their short skirts and skimpy tops, completely clueless or careless that they should cover up to respect the conservative Hindu culture of the island. (Occasionally males do it, too, by going shirtless away from the beach.) “But, it’s too hot!” they say. That’s no excuse, as there are plenty of long sleeve tops and pants made of super thin, breathable material that will win you the respect of the locals. The most outrageous transgression I saw today was a young lady sashaying her way down the street in skin tight, painted-on green Daisy Dukes that were so short, her ass cheeks were sticking out of the bottom. That’s petty damned rude behavior in this country! At the opposite end of the spectrum were three muslim girls in jet black burkas with just a narrow opening for their eyes. What a parade of diverse humanity!

    Chandra Wirabhuana performs the Kebyar Duduk dance at the Lotus Pond in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Chandra Wirabhuana performs the Legong Semarandhana dance at the Lotus Pond in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Chandra Wirabhuana performs the Oleg Tambulilingan dance at the Lotus Pond in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Chandra Wirabhuana performs the Topeng Tua dance at the Lotus Pond in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    I bought a ticket to see Semara Raith at Pura Dalem Ubud, then hung around out front for a while; but 30 minutes before showtime, it was still dead. So, I fired up my flashlight and made my way through the huge stone staircases and walkways of the pitch dark temple grounds, but not a creature stirred. Can you say cancelled? I schlepped back up to the center of town and exchanged my ticket for a performance by Chandra Wirabhuana at the Lotus Pond, another insanely beautiful temple setting right behind a restaurant. Chandra is a troupe of recent vintage, having formed in 2000. Tonight’s performance consisted of seven pieces, starting off with an instrumental called Tabuh Kreasi Cerukcuk Wana, which employs the unusual sound of two different scales to mimic the Cerukcuk bird. Next up came Penyambutan dance, which tells the story of a beautiful teenage girl formed in the image of the goddess of the moon.

    Chandra Wirabhuana performs the Satya Brasta dance at the Lotus Pond in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Chandra Wirabhuana at the Lotus Pond in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Chandra Wirabhuana at the Lotus Pond in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Third in line was Kebyar Duduk, a unique dance which is mostly performed in a sitting position. Following that was Legong Semarandhana, which tells the story of a fantastic battle between Bhatara Kamajaya, Bhatri Rhati and the God Siva. What’s a Balinese dance performance without a little Oleg Tambulilingan? It tells a charming little tale of two bumblebees falling in love in a flower garden. Then came Topeng Tua, a mask dance featuring the character of a creaky old geezer fumbling around the stage, battling his demons. The closer came in the form of the Satya Brasta dance, an excerpt from the Mahabarata that tells the story of a battle between Karna, the great commander in chief of the Kingdom of Karawa, and five brothers from the Kingdom of Pandawa.

    Roll over photos for captions.
    Words and photos ©2012 Arcane Candy.

    2 responses to “Tropical Heat Tour: Bali Part 5”

    1. Poison Pie says:

      This blog is awesome.

      Where else can you read, “What’s a Balinese dance performance without a little Oleg Tambulilingan?” I honestly do not know the answer to that question, but I am curious.

      Where else can you read, “The most outrageous transgression I saw today was a young lady sashaying her way down the street in skin tight, painted-on green Daisy Dukes that were so short, her ass cheeks were sticking out of the bottom. Pretty damned rude!” I would never have imagined anyone saying that except some crotchedy old grandmother. Keep it real! Keep it raw!

      Where else can you read about someone describing how he was nonchalantly wandering around temple grounds in the dark with a flashlight with complete aplomb. Only here! Keep it rolling.

    2. Zach O. says:

      Exactly Garry, you must always respect culture. Sadly I feel like America doesn’t have much. Culture is true beauty

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *