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    Tropical Storm Tour: Bali Part 28

    Monday, September 21, 2015
    Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

    A gate at Pura Desa in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    A gate at Pura Desa in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Luh Luwih performs the Gabor dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Luh Luwih performs the Gabor dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    For tonight’s show, I chose Luh Luwih, an awesome all-female gamelan who I saw once before back in 2010, at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod. I showed up there at the usual 6:00 pm, but got denied entry by the ticket sellers out front because there was supposedly a toga party, I mean a yoga class going on inside. So, I sat on the front steps for a little while, until eventually one of them offered to reserve a seat for me, which was nice, because he said they usually only do that if you buy the ticket at the venue, but I had bought mine from Nur Astika. With a front row seat secured, I had to figure out how to kill a half hour, so I decided to go on a long walk around the Jalan Monkey Forest / Jalan Hanoman / Jalan Dewi Sita loop.

    Luh Luwih performs the Topeng Tua dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Luh Luwih performs the Topeng Tua dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Luh Luwih performs the Taruna Jaya dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Luh Luwih performs the Taruna Jaya dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    On the way, I stopped at Coco’s Supermarket and bought a big box of Bali Dream chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. I must say the attractive box design was almost as good as the delicious nuts! It’s definitely a keeper! Back at the ranch, I mean the venue, I had the opportunity to sit front and center, but actually chose a chair pretty far off on the left side, because I didn’t want the footlight in the middle of the stage to mar all of my photos. After the coldly jangly instrumental opener, Ujon Mass, four beautiful girls garbed in green and yellow appeared on stage to perform the Gabor, an elegant welcome dance full of moving in place and circular walking that made the audience feel at home amid showers of flowers.

    Luh Luwih performs the Baris dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Luh Luwih performs the Baris dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Luh Luwih performs the Cendrawasih dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Luh Luwih performs the Cendrawasih dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    As soon as the Gabor dancers left the stage, a young couple entered the venue with two really little kids in tow and proceeded to sit in the two open seats on each side of me. Needless to say, the rest of the show was really hard to concentrate on, as the mom kept swaying around to the music, getting up out of her seat and walking over to the dad and other kid, etc. And whenever the kids talked, instead of shushing them, the parents responded, which encouraged the kids to talk even more. Luckily, the sound of their voices got drowned out by the music most of the time. I lost count of how many times I got kicked. Anyway, next up was the Topeng Tua, a mask dance and character study of an old codger, followed by Taruna Jaya, which explored exactly the opposite: the many moods of Balinese youth.

    Luh Luwih performs the Oleg Tambulilingan dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Luh Luwih performs the Oleg Tambulilingan dance at Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Bale Banjar Ubud Kelod in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    The proud Balinese warrior was celebrated next via the Baris, followed by a frolic from the bird of paradise, the Cendrawasih. After that dance, I got fed up and scooted my chair forward a foot so all of the distractions of the nightmare family would literally be behind me. But, it was too little too late, as the show ended with the next dance, a story of two bumblebees in love, Oleg Tambulilingan, which closed out the set. After the show, the audience was invited up on stage to pose for photos with a few of the dancers. It was funny how the mom looked super happy posing with her kids, but she and her husband were so utterly clueless about how a family should behave at a performance inside a theater.

    Words and photos ©2015 Arcane Candy.

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