Legong Sudhamala

10 Setembre 2012

Legong és una dansa clàssica balinesa creada probablement el segle XIX per a l’entreteniment de la cort. Es caracteritza pels intricats moviments dels dits de les mans i per les expressions facials constantment canviants. En un origen ballaven el Legong noies impúbers. En canvi, avui, almenys en les diferents versions de Legong que es ballen per als turistes, les ballarines són noies adolescents o dones adultes. És en les representacions dels temples -durant cerimònies especials- on encara es poden veure versions originals de Legong interpretat per noietes preadolescents. Hi ha diferents versions de Legong, totes inspirades en episodis dels llibres sagrats de l’hinduisme. El vídeo presenta una nova versió concebuda, coreografiada i musicada -aquest any 2012- per l’afamat professor d’arts balineses I Wayan Dibia, en col·laboració amb el també compositor de música per a orquestra de gamelan, el mestre I Ketut Cater. Podem gaudir de la dansa completa, gravada el dia de l’estrena, el 4 de setembre de 2012, al banjar -pavelló destinat a la celebració d’actes- del vilatge Kutuh Kelod, a prop d’Ubud. Els intèrprets i músics pertanyen al grup artístic d’Ubud, Semara Ratih, del qual n’és propietari i director l’excel·lent ballarí de dansa clàssica balinesa, Anak Agung Anom Putra.
Sinopsi de la dansa, segons l’original del programa de mà lliurat el dia de l’estrena: “Sudhamala és una paraula sànscrita que significa purificació de l’esperit. La història és extreta d’un episodi del Mahabharata. Sota la influència de Kalika, serventa de la deessa Durga, la reina Kunti arrossega el seu afillat Sahadewa al cementiri de Gandamayu amb la intenció d’oferir-lo en sacrifici a Durga. Però Sahadewa és un home fort que no es deixa dominar fàcilment per la seva madrastra. Un cop al cementiri els papers canvien i ara és Sahadewa qui vol matar la reina Kunti. Però la deessa Durga demana a Sahadewa que utilitzi el poder per restituir a la reina Kunti la seva divinitat. Així la reina Kunti pot retornar, ja com a deessa Uma, al món superior al qual pertany”.
El redactat original pot llegir-se a continuació, en la versió anglesa del comentari.

Descripció tècnica: Vídeo enregistrat amb càmera digital Sony HDR-CX740VE. Arxiu original: TS (AVC). HD (Alta Definició). Gravació sense trípode.

Legong Sudhamala is a new Balinese traditional dance created on 2012 by Professor I Wayan Dibia and Musician Master I Ketut Cater. Performance by Semara Ratih group, from Ubud. The full dance was recorded the day of the premiere, on 4th September this year, at Banjar Kutuh Kelod, Ubud. Bali. Synopsis literally copied from the hand program held to the audience on the day of the premiere: “A newly created dance, based on the classical Legong, Legong Sudhamala enacts an episode of The Mahabharata epic. Sudhamala is a Sanskrit word that means “to clean of purify”. Under the influence of Kalika, the servant of Goddess Durga, Queen Kunti drags her step son Sahadewa to Gandamayu cemetery as a sacrifice to Durga. But Sahadewa too strong fer her to kill. Instead Goddess Durga begs Sahadewa to use his power to return the Goddess into her original form as Goddess Uma, so that she can return to the upper world where she belongs. Legong Sudhamala was created by I Wayan Dibia (2012) with musical accompaniment joinly compossed by I Ketut Cater and I Wayan Dibia”.

Technical descriptions: Recorded by digital camera Sony HDR-CX740VE. Original file: TS (AVC). HD (High Definition). Shooted by hand, no tripod used.

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Harvesting Coconuts on a Rainy Day

9 Abril 2011

In the morning of a rainy day I was at the veranda of my house in Ubud, in the very heart of Bali. Lying among comfortable thick and soft feather cushions reading Sherwood Anderson’s book Winesburg, Ohio. I could listen only the sounds of singing birds and rainy water falling on palm shining leaves. Then I saw Komang climbing a nearby trunk of coconut tree. My camera was within one’s reach. Komang did not notice I was recording him. He was too busy on harvesting coconuts up there. This is a video with nothing else than a Balinese young man harvesting coconuts on a rainy day in Bali island. My first video at Vimeo. I hope not the last (and not the best).

Technical descriptions: Recorded by digital still camera Sony Cyber-shot HX5V. Original file m2ts. Shooted without tripod.


Kebyar Trompong

27 febrer 2011

I Made Putra Wijaya balla la dansa tradicional Kebyar Trompong al temple Pura Dalem Agung, de Padangtegal, al sud d’Ubud. El temple és al cor del petit Bosc dels Micos -Alas Bojog, en balinès-, popularment conegut com Monkey Forest. I Made Putra Wijaya és un excel·lent ballarí i músic de gamelan (especialitzat en els timbals). El ballarí és fill de Peliatan, avui en dia un barri annexionat a Ubud. En Made (Ade) ha viatjat diverses vegades a l’estranger per ballar dansa tradicional balinesa. Ha actuat en països com Holanda, Vietnam, Alemanya i Dinamarca. Solament els millors ballarins són capaços de ballar la dansa Kebyar Trompong. Va ser creada durant la dècada de 1920 per ser interpretada pel considerat millor ballarí de la història balinesa, el mític Mario (pronunciat mària). L’intèrpret de Kebyar Trompong fa a la vegada de ballarí i músic. En alguns moments, el ballarí interpreta solos amb els gongs de bronze d’un instrument de gamelan, anomenat trompong. El fet de ballar sempre ajupit fa que la dansa sigui realment complicada, apta solament per als millors. L’orquestra femenina de gamelan que acompanya el ballarí és del vilatge de Peliatan. Més informació sobre el ballarí, en aquest enllaç: I Made Putra Wijaya.

Descripció tècnica: Vídeo gravat amb càmera digital compacta Sony Cyber-shot HX5V. Format original: mp4. Gravació d’una sola seqüència enregistrada enterament a pols, sense trípode.

I Made Putra Wijaya dances Kebyar Trompong in the premises of Pura Dalem Agung, a temple located in Padangtegal, at the southern most tip of Ubud. The temple is in the heart of the small Monkey Forest (Alas Bojog, in Balinese language). Made Putra Wijaya is an excellent dancer and Gamelan musician from Peliatan, a village at the eastern side of Ubud, in the district of Gianyar. Made (Ade) has travelled abroad several times for playing Balinese traditional dances. He’s been in Holland, Vietnam, Germany and Denmark. Kebyar Trompong is not an easy dance. Only well trained artists can do it. The dance was created in the 1920s to be performed by the mytical Balinese dancer Mario. In a Kebyar Trompong dance a male dancer is also a musician, playing solos on a gamelan gong with the rest of the orchestra. The dancer twirls his drumsticks while playing the gongs of a gamelan instrument. The ladies Gamelan Orchestra comes from the village of Peliatan. More information about the dancer at this link: I Made Putra Wijaya.

Technical descriptions: Recorded by digital still camera Sony Cyber-shot HX5V. Original file mp4. Recorded in a single shoot, no tripod used.


Bamboo to Bronze

6 Desembre 2010

The rehearsal was held few weeks before the group from Sanggar Çudamani flew to USA to present it’s new production Bamboo to Bronze. It was recorded at night time at Pura Tamen Limut, a temple located in Pengosekan, Ubud, the same village where Çudamani Group comes from. In the video we see a bit from the beginning of the new production Bamboo to Bronze. The performance features 26 artists including choreography and composition by I Dewa Putu Berata. The artistic director was born into a family of musicians and painters and studied under his father I Dewa Nyoman Sura. He is the founding member of Sanggar Çudamani. Sanggar Çudamani comprised of 60 members. I Dewa Putu Berata has directed numerous gamelan ensembles and works on various international projects throughout the world. I Nyoman Cerita, choreographer, learned dance at age 6 from his grandfather I Made Kenyir. He is recipient of numerous awards as well as from Titane Spectacles/Le Jardin Des Poiries in Paris. Emiko Saraswati Susilo was one of Çudamani’s founding members. She began her formal studies in Javanese and Balinese dance under the direction of KRT Sasmintadipura and Ni Made Wiratini. She has studied Javanese singing from Tri Haryanto and Midiyanto. I Dewa Ketut Alit studied drumming with his father and began performing at age 11.
Bamboo to Bronze is a new creation of Çudamani’s group. The music and dance ensemble from Bali, harnesses movement, music and spectacle to transport audiences into the vibrant world of the treasured gamelan art form. Bamboo to Bronze highlights Balinese contemporary reality by celebrating the intimate and poetic sounds of a small village as well as the virtuosic, dynamic and technically dazzling sound of the brilliant seven-toned gamelan Semarandana. The simple beauty of bamboo and the glorious sheen of bronze continue to coexist in the increasingly complex and sophisticated culture of Bali.


Dance in Blue

24 Novembre 2010

The rehearsal was held few weeks before the group from Sanggar Çudamani flew to USA to present it’s new production Bamboo to Bronze. It was recorded at Pura Tamen Limut, a temple located in Pengosekan, Ubud, the same village where Çudamani Group comes from. In the video we see one of the dances included in the new production Bamboo to Bronze. The real name of the dance is Pengleban, but I call it Dance in Blue because the dress color of the four female dancers. Blue color is an unusual color in Balinese traditional dances. The performance features a stellar array of 26 artists including choreography and composition by I Dewa Putu Berata. The artistic director was born into a family of musicians and painters and studied under his father I Dewa Nyoman Sura. He is the founding member of Sanggar Çudamani. Sanggar Çudamani comprised of 60 members. I Dewa Putu Berata has directed numerous gamelan ensembles and works on various international projects throughout the world. I Nyoman Cerita, choreographer, learned dance at age 6 from his grandfather I Made Kenyir. He is recipient of numerous awards as well as from Titane Spectacles/Le Jardin Des Poiries in Paris. Emiko Saraswati Susilo was one of Çudamani’s founding members. She began her formal studies in Javanese and Balinese dance under the direction of KRT Sasmintadipura and Ni Made Wiratini. She has studied Javanese singing from Tri Haryanto and Midiyanto. I Dewa Ketut Alit studied drumming with his father and began performing at age 11.
Bamboo to Bronze is a new creation of Çudamani’s group. The music and dance ensemble from Bali, harnesses movement, music and spectacle to transport audiences into the vibrant world of the treasured gamelan art form. Bamboo to Bronze highlights Balinese contemporary reality by celebrating the intimate and poetic sounds of a small village as well as the virtuosic, dynamic and technically dazzling sound of the brilliant seven-toned gamelan Semarandana. The simple beauty of bamboo and the glorious sheen of bronze continue to coexist in the increasingly complex and sophisticated culture of Bali.


Nit de dansa / Night of Performance

8 Novembre 2010

Cada diumenge al vespre I Kadek Adi Mahendra es dirigeix al museu de les arts Agung Rai (ARMA) d’Ubud. De fa quatre o cinc anys Mahendra balla la dansa amb màscara Jauk al wantilan o escenari a l’aire lliure del museu. Algunes vegades el ballarí interpreta dues danses, el Baris i el Jauk Longgor. Mahendra, com tantíssimes altres criatures d’Ubud i els vilatges de l’entorn, va aprendre dansa clàssica balinesa a les classes que s’imparteixen al museu ARMA. Actualment Mahendra, encara un ballarí molt jove, és un expert en la dansa Jauk. La interpreta magníficament. Al vídeo podem veure el ballarí al moment de maquillar-se i vestir-se per ballar a l’escenari a l’aire lliure del museu un diumenge al vespre. Començarà amb la dansa del guerrer o Baris. A continuació, interpretarà la dansa amb màscara, Jauk Longgor. Acabada la interpretació de la dansa Jauk, Mahendra retorna al primer pis del museu per desvestir-se. En acabar tanca la porta i surt al pati del museu. Puja a la seva motocicleta i retorna al seu poble, Abianbase, molt a prop de la població de Gianyar.

Once a week in the evening Balinese dancer I Kadek Adi Mahendra goes to Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) in Ubud. Since four or five years Mahendra performs Jauk dance on the open air stage of the museum. Sometimes, before performing Jauk dance Mahendra also dances Baris. Like other many children from Ubud and sorrounding villages, Mahendra learned Balinese classical dance at the premises of the museum. Now Mahendra is a Jauk Longgor dance expert. At the video we can see Mahendra making-up and dressing at the second floor of ARMA museum. When his performance is over the dancer goes back to the room at the second floor of the building. After undress Mahendra close the door behind him and goes to the patio of the museum. He gets his motorbike and rides back home.


Chinese Opera งิ้ว

20 febrer 2010

When the ancestors of today’s Thai Chinese community migrated south and arrived in Thailand, they brought their culture with them and preserved it in their new surroundings. In their cultural baggage were traditional Chinese forms of entertainment which brought them solace as they endured the rigors of beginning life anew in a place that was far from home. One form of popular theatre that they especially loved was ngiw (งิ้ว), or Chinese Opera. Nowadays there are ngiw troupes not only in Bangkok as it used to be before. However, the heads of most ngiw troupes hire performers from Isan instead of Chinese singers, who are very scarce. It isn’t necessary that the actors speak Chinese; all they have to do is memorise the words required. Not only stage roles are taken by Thais from Isan these days. The musicians, too, usually come from the North-East. But all of these changes make very little difference to the audience, as those who understand all of what is going on up on stage are few. At present there are about 30 ngiw troupes active in Thailand, not more than 10 of them made of up Chinese performers. Most of them have work to do all year long, as they are invited to perform at different towns and cities. One of these troupes is performing in Nakhon Ratchasima town, or Korat as most Thai like to say. The performance was held close to the monument of local female hero Tao Suranari (Ya Mo) during the celebrations of Chinese New Year.


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