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    Tropical Storm Tour: Bali Part 31

    Thursday, September 24, 2015
    Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

    Ketut makes some Hindu offerings at the Arjuna 3 Guesthouse in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Ketut makes some Hindu offerings at the Arjuna 3 Guesthouse in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    A small section of the market in central Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    A small section of the market in central Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Legong Trance dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Legong Trance dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Legong Trance dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Legong Trance dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Around 6:30 pm, I walked over to the intersection of Jalon Raya Ubud and Jalon Suweta to find my old buddy, the ticket seller Nur Astika, to buy a ticket to the Legong Trance and Paradise Dance show by Sekehe Gong Panca Artha across the street at Ubud Palace. As this was at least the fifth or sixth time I’d seen it, I guess you might say it’s one of my favorite shows in Ubud. By 6:00 pm, I got the ticket torn off of my program and entered the courtyard of Ubud Palace. The front row of plastic chairs was already full, but that was okay, because there were still front row seats on the ground right smack dab in front of the performance space. Ubud is so incredibly crowded these days that you have to arrive over an hour before showtime if you want to get good seats.

    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Jauk dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Jauk dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Lencana Agung Ubud dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Lencana Agung Ubud dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Kebyar Trompong dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Kebyar Trompong dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Ballet of Bimanlu dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Ballet of Bimanlu dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    I noticed that Sekehe Gong Panca Artha had recruited two new, younger dancers for the opening act, the Legong Trance. After a priest blessed the two Legongs with holy water and put them into a trance state, they told a story in dance about how the Gods give blessings and mercy to humankind for peace and prosperity on this troubled Earth. This jaw-dropping, moving performance represented the apex of ritual theater. Second up, Jauk was a solo dance in which a demon cavorted through the jungle, joking with insects, striking hilariously demure poses, shaking hands with the audience, and so on. The Lencana Agung Ubud was a full-blown ensemble piece full of twirling umbrellas (and even an official Ubud village logo) that celebrated the spiritual and peaceful way of life of the locals in Ubud.

    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Ballet of Bimanlu dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Ballet of Bimanlu dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Ballet of Bimanlu dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Ballet of Bimanlu dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Ballet of Bimanlu dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sekehe Gong Panca Artha performs the Ballet of Bimanlu dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Gado gado for dinner at Bumbu Bali in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Gado gado for dinner at Bumbu Bali in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    The fourth dance, Kebyar Trompong, featured the long trompong instrument, which was expertly played by a woman who danced at the same time. Her facial expressions, which ranged from a deer-caught-in-the-headlights stare one second to a flirtatious smile the next, perfectly matched the explosive gamelan gong kebyar music, which developed on Bali in the 1920s and ’30s. The set finished in grand fashion with The Ballet of Bimanlu, another lengthy character-filled ensemble piece which told the tale of prince Bimanlu from the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, and all of the adventures he experienced battling various evil forces on his journey to win the heart of princess Situ Sunari.

    Words and photos ©2015 Arcane Candy.

    One response to “Tropical Storm Tour: Bali Part 31”

    1. Louise Balma says:

      Nice photos of this very colorful and interesting dance.

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