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    Tropical Storm Tour: Bali Part 13

    Sunday, September 6, 2015
    Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

    Old, battered photos taped to the wall at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Old, battered photos taped to the wall at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    An old Barong costume in the front entryway at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    An old Barong costume in the front entryway at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Unfortunately, the wi-fi at the Arjuna 3 Guesthouse has been super slow over the past day or two–even after I reset it and restarted my Airport connection as well as my MacBook Air. Luckily, the wi-fi at the Pulu Sari Warung worked good, so I was able to post an update from there. In the early evening, I went down by Ubud Palace to pick up my Bukittinggi t-shirt from the ticket seller and tailor Nur Astika. A couple of days before, I had given it to her so she could shorten the sleeves from three-quarter length to short, and she did a super professional job. In fact, the seams look like they were sewn at a factory! After praising Nur’s work, I bought a ticket from her for a show by an outfit called Sanggar Pondok Pekak at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod. I gave her a lot of business today!

    Sanggar Pondok Pekak performs the Sekar Jagat dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sanggar Pondok Pekak performs the Sekar Jagat dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Sanggar Pondok Pekak performs the Baris dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sanggar Pondok Pekak performs the Baris dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Next, I walked over to a back lane a block east to eat at a cheap warung with no name that Ketut from the Arjuna 3 Guesthouse recommended. She said I could get a simple meal there for 2,000 rupiah, but, of course, I ended up paying 25,000 for a bowl of vegetable curry and rice. Maybe a Balinese person could get it for that cheap, but not a foreigner. At 6:30 pm, I stepped up to Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod, where the ticket seller out front was surprised I wanted to enter the venue a whole hour before showtime–until I told him I wanted to sit in the front row to take some video and photos. On the way in, I shot one of an old, weathered Barong costume that was set up in the front entryway. That was one of very few times I’ve used the flash on my new camera, which I bought right before this trip. I just figured out that the flash works easiest on the auto setting. Duh!

    Sanggar Pondok Pekak performs the Legong Lasem dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sanggar Pondok Pekak performs the Legong Lasem dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Sanggar Pondok Pekak performs the Legong Lasem dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sanggar Pondok Pekak performs the Legong Lasem dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    As I arrived in the seating area, I was dismayed to see that the entire front row of chairs were reserved except for three each on the far right and left sides. I chose the left, as it had the best view of the stage unobstructed by footlights. By the time the performance started at 7:30 pm, only three or four rows of people had showed up, which is far fewer than the huge crowds that fill the courtyard at Ubud Palace. During the first two songs, a few more stragglers made their way inside. Several times throughout the performance, various audience members got up and walked out, either because they were bored or had something more important to do. It’s a shame, too, because leaving before the performance is over is considered rude by the Balinese.

    Sanggar Pondok Pekak performs the Teruna Jaya dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sanggar Pondok Pekak performs the Teruna Jaya dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Sanggar Pondok Pekak performs the Oleg Tambulilingan dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sanggar Pondok Pekak performs the Oleg Tambulilingan dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    The program opened with Sekar Jagat, a welcome dance similar to the Pendet and Gabor, except there were only four girls; also, they wore different crowns and costumes, and carried a floral arrangement instead of a basket of loose flowers. Second up was the Baris, a dance that displayed the bravery of the Balinese warrior. The centerpiece arrived in the form of Legong Lasem, which described in dance movements the battle between two royals–King Lasem and the King of Daha–and their mutual love interest, Princess Langke Sari. Next up was Teruna Jaya, in which a woman dressed up as a man to portray the many moods of Balinese youth. Originally choreographed in the 1950s, Oleg Tambulilingan told the story of two bumblebees in love as they flitted from flower to flower in a beautiful garden. Finishing out the set was Jauk, a funny and pleasant topeng (mask) dance performed by a long-nailed demon.

    Sanggar Pondok Pekak performs the Oleg Tambulilingan dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sanggar Pondok Pekak performs the Oleg Tambulilingan dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Sanggar Pondok Pekak performs the Jauk dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sanggar Pondok Pekak performs the Jauk dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Sanggar Pondok Pekak at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sanggar Pondok Pekak at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Words and photos ©2015 Arcane Candy.

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