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    Tropical Storm Tour: Bali Part 34

    Sunday, September 27, 2015
    Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

    Sekaa Gong Jaya Swara Ubud perform the Tedung Agung dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sekaa Gong Jaya Swara Ubud perform the Tedung Agung dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Sekaa Gong Jaya Swara Ubud perform the Baris dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sekaa Gong Jaya Swara Ubud perform the Baris dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Today, I headed back over to Ganesha Bookshop to check out the book Bali: Sacred & Secret and hopefully find out how much it weighs. Although they did not have a scale in the shop, I was able to pretty accurately guesstimate the weight at about four pounds (a little bit less than two kilograms) based on a comparison with three other similarly sized books I looked up on Amazon. The reason the weight was so important is I have 3.5 kilograms of open weight left in my backpack. If I include any more new weight than that, it will put my backpack over the 20 kilograms mark, for which China Airlines will charge me at least $35.00 extra, so I’m trying to avoid paying such an exorbitant amount just to take a book home with me.

    Sekaa Gong Jaya Swara Ubud perform the Legong Supraba dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sekaa Gong Jaya Swara Ubud perform the Legong Supraba dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Speaking of books, a few days ago, I splurged on a copy of Bali in the 1930s, which also weighs around four pounds. I’m going to make a cardboard sleeve for it, put it in a plastic bag and hopefully carry it on the plane with my messenger bag. I should hopefully be able to pull it off, because I checked the China Airlines web site, which states that, in addition to one carry-on, each passenger gets to bring one free extra bag of various random items, which includes “a reasonable amount of reading material.” Even if they do shut me down and say that the book is too big, I can always check it, because each passenger gets two free pieces of checked baggage as long as each is under 20 kilograms. I’m just afraid the book might get stolen by the baggage handlers.

    Sekaa Gong Jaya Swara Ubud perform the Taruna Jaya dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sekaa Gong Jaya Swara Ubud perform the Taruna Jaya dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    At 6:15 pm, I headed back over to Ubud Palace to see the Legong of Mahabrata Epic show by Sekaa Gong Jaya Swara Ubud. I had seen this same show once before across the street at Wantilan in 2013, but decided that it was more than good enough to see again. So, I plopped my hat, scarf and hiking boots down on the ground in front of the stage; where a couple of others had also dropped off place holders. Then I sat close by for an hour in the relative comfort of a plastic chair. At 7:00 pm, as more people started to sit on the ground in front of the stage, I headed down there to claim my spit, I mean spot. Since it was Sunday night, the place never got completely packed to the gills, although it was pretty dang crowded.

    Sekaa Gong Jaya Swara Ubud perform the Topeng Arsa Wijaya dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sekaa Gong Jaya Swara Ubud perform the Topeng Arsa Wijaya dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    The performance opened with an instrumental called Tabuh Jaya Smara, in which “the beauty of the percussion sounds are arrayed in the glory of the universe.” The first dance came in the form of the Tedung Agung, an elaborate welcome dance featuring lots of twirling umbrellas for protective symbolism and aesthetics. Second up was an unusual version of the Baris with four warrior dancers bearing bad-ass kris (daggers) instead of the usual one…for four times the fun! Likewise, the Legong Supraba featured five dancers instead of the usual three to tell the story of Rakasa Newatakwaca, who wanted to merely destroy the Earth and Heavens. Following that was another instrumental called Tabuh Angklung, then the super tight and hyper Taruna Jaya, a solo dance that displays the many moods and enthusiasm typical of adolescence.

    Sekaa Gong Jaya Swara Ubud perform the Kreasi Garuda Wisnu dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sekaa Gong Jaya Swara Ubud perform the Kreasi Garuda Wisnu dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Next came an unusual, slow and haunting solo masked dance called Topeng Arsa Wijaya. Oddly enough, I noticed a Japanese lady really getting a kick out of it. She had the cutest smile and was cracking up the whole time. I have no idea why. The ender, Kreasi Garuda Wisnu, was highlighted by men who hoisted women up onto their shoulders as the latter twirled handheld windmill thingies, which represented Lord Vishnu riding a Garuda bird. This dance provided quite a big pile of excitement and eye candy to each and every audience member. The Japanese lady also seemed really impressed by this one, as she was all wide-eyed and grinning the whole time–especially during the double-decker sequence.

    Sekaa Gong Jaya Swara Ubud perform the Kreasi Garuda Wisnu dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    Sekaa Gong Jaya Swara Ubud perform the Kreasi Garuda Wisnu dance at Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    A delicious pizza at Bumbu Bali in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
    A delicious pizza at Bumbu Bali in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

    Words and photos ©2015 Arcane Candy.

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