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    Tropical Heat Tour: Bali Part 6

    Sunday, July 8, 2012
    Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

    One of the best storefront designs ever. Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    The Balerung in Peliatan, Bali, Indonesia.

    A Legong statue at the Balerung in Peliatan, Bali, Indonesia.

    The temple stage in the Balerung in Peliatan, Bali, Indonesia.

    The show I chose to attend tonight featured Mekar Sari, an all-women gamelan with children dancers, at Balerung over in Peliatan, a village that has long been legendary for the high caliber of its performing arts. The little shuttle van nearly scraped the walls of the extremely narrow back alleys as we made our way to the venue. At one point, I spied a family compound gate festooned with really colorful, decorative dragons made of styrofoam, and knew I had to return soon for a daytime photo session. The interior of the Balerung temple complex gives off somewhat of a rural / farm vibe with its bamboo A-frame roof and decorations; its walls chock-full of vintage photos of various well-known local dancers from the mid-20th century.

    The Mekar Sari gamelan at the Balerung in Peliatan, Bali, Indonesia.

    Mekar Sari performs the Pendet dance at the Balerung in Peliatan, Bali, Indonesia.

    Mekar Sari performs the Baris dance at the Balerung in Peliatan, Bali, Indonesia.

    Mekar Sari performs the Kelinci dance at the Balerung in Peliatan, Bali, Indonesia.

    The show got underway with Pendet, a welcome dance in which the girls toss flowers onto the audience as a blessing. Next came Baris, the warrior dance, which is full of striking poses and twirls, and accented by dramatic eye movements. Right in the middle of this performance, a stray dog wandered out from the door in the center of the stage and walked across, paused at the edge, jumped down, then proceeded out back, barking the whole way. Some of the gamelan players laughed, but the dancer stayed in the zone. Too bad I forgot to empty my memory card and only managed to capture a few seconds of it on video. Of course, right at that moment, the critter remained perfectly still, looking just like someone put a stuffed animal up on stage. I’ll forever kick myself for failing to capture that moment.

    The Mekar Sari gamelan performs at the Balerung in Peliatan, Bali, Indonesia.

    Mekar Sari performs the Kupu-Kupu Tarum dance at the Balerung in Peliatan, Bali, Indonesia.

    Mekar Sari performs the Nelayan dance at the Balerung in Peliatan, Bali, Indonesia.

    Yummy quesadilla at Mumbul in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    The animal kingdom was further represented with Kelinci, the bunny dance, and Kupu-Kupu Tarum, a butterfly dance. The super-animated children were funny as they flitted about the stage telling these stories in a most lively way. It looked like a real life version of a Disney cartoon. And the gamelan playing sounded super deep and the playing was top notch. The show closed out with Nelayan, a fisherman’s dance. Myself and the rest of the audience, which consisted of just two people, then got whisked back to Ubud. For a little reminder of California, I ended the night with an ultra-tasty gourmet quesadilla at Mumbul. No, I’m not homesick (yet).

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

    One response to “Tropical Heat Tour: Bali Part 6”

    1. Zach O. says:

      Agh the card. Last time you had missed out on the beautiful girl and other problems.
      By the way last paragraph made me quite hungry. Most of the food looks delicious and some well you know, looks are deceiving maybe.

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