Sharing a Balinese ritual - Tourism Indonesia


Monday, November 12, 2007

Sharing a Balinese ritual

Gamelan Cudamani: Odalan Bali: An Offering of Music and Dance. That's quite the esoteric title, no? Tell your friends that's what you're going to go see tomorrow night and they'll nod, smile wanly and immediately go back to whining about the rain.

Quick translation: Gamelan refers to the music of Indonesia and Cudamani is the troupe of musicians and dancers presenting it. Odalan is the temple ceremony celebrating the beginning of life and Bali is where the troupe and ceremony come from, and where you think you'd like to be right now except this is just the humid prelude to the rainy season. Still, it's 27° C. When they say showers, they quite literally mean a shower.

The Cudamani troupe of 26 traditional dancers and musicians draws on a history going back centuries in Indonesia through influences drawn from trade with China and India while the Dutch were colonizers until right after the Second World War. Now an independent republic, this remains a land of true exotica.

The only colonizing going on these days is from the international tourist trade and the island of Bali is a big draw, particularly the beautiful town of Ubud, a centre of Balinese music and dance. With the fear that tourists were affecting the area's cultural integrity, the Cudamani troupe was formed a decade ago, drawing the best of young performers from throughout Bali. Not to say there's anything wrong with tourists.


Related: A Balinese company transforms a New York stage

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