Gamelan Sekar Jaya perform Balinese dance, music at North Columbia Schoolhouse
The highly regarded San Francisco Bay Area based company will be performing Saturday, September 24, at the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center on the San Juan Ridge.
Gamelan Sekar Jaya is a nonprofit organization based in Berkeley, devoted to fostering artistic exchange between Bali, Indonesia and the United States. Founded in 1979, they have performed throughout California, the US and Bali — in venues ranging from the New York Symphony Space to remote village squares in Bali. The performance will unfold under dapple pinks and oranges of the sunset, framed by the towering pines that surround the amphitheater. The audience is welcome to lay out a blanket, or move freely about to take in the performance from multiple perspectives, and enjoy the complex interlocking rhythms and virtuosic sensibility of the Balinese music and dance.
Balinese dance encompasses a wide range of styles and forms. Details of music and dance are tightly coordinated; an ideal of complete unity is sought in every gesture, nuance, expression, phrase and rhythm. Dance plays a central role not only in sacred activities, in a temple or at a sacred spring, but in secular ones. Gamelan Sekar Jaya carries forward this tradition by offering programs comprised primarily of dance works, from solos to larger group choreographies.
In this performance, you’ll enjoy tunes from three of Sekar Jaya’s instrumental ensembles: the exciting and impressive bamboo gamelan jegog from West Bali; the serene and intricate gender wayang ensemble traditionally used to accompany Balinese shadow plays; and the popular and cheerful gamelan angklung, accompanying Sekar Jaya’s company of dancers.
This performance introduces Sekar Jaya’s 2022-2023 Guest Artistic Directors Ni Nyoman Srayamurtikanti (Music) and Cok Istri Putri Rukmini (Dance) to the North Columbia community, and features the challenging “Margapati,” a dance in the androgynous bebancihan style.
Mang Sraya is a gamelan musician who is currently pursuing her career as a composer. Mang Sraya is the daughter of I Nyoman Suryadi, a natural artist, composer, and singer from Celuk Village in Sukawati, Gianyar, Bali. Mang Sraya has studied Balinese gamelan since elementary school from various master teachers, including her father, I Ketut Cater, I Made Subandi, and others. Her education has focused on the arts from her studies at SMKN 3 Sukawati, an arts specialty high school, and Denpasar’s Institute for Indonesian Arts (Institut Seni Indonesia or ISI Denpasar). At the time of her residency with Sekar Jaya, Mang Sraya will have recently finished her master’s degree in music composition at the Surakarta branch of the Institute for Indonesian Arts. Mang Sraya is also the head of Sanggar S’mara Murti, originally founded by her father. Mang Sraya began composing in 2017, and her works are based on the intersection of tradition and innovation in Balinese arts. Mang Sraya has represented Indonesia at events across Southeast Asia, and her music has been featured in regional, national, and international events. In 2020, she was a featured guest in Gamelan Sekar Jaya’s Bali’s Living Arts speaker series. This residency will be Mang Sraya’s first visit to the United States.
Cok Pring is a respected dancer and teacher from Singapadu, Bali, Indonesia. Trained at an early age in her village, she later attended a specialty arts high school in Batubulan, Bali, and went on to complete her bachelor’s degree at Denpasar’s Institute for Indonesian Arts (Institut Seni Indonesia or ISI Denpasar, formerly known as STSI Denpasar) in 1996. Following her graduation from STSI, Cok Pring worked for the Ministry of Culture (Province of Bali) for five years. During that time, she remained active as a performer and teacher, winning numerous prizes and honors from regional and national sources. Cok Pring has toured widely in Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia, and she has performed in Spain, Australia, the United States, Japan, and Great Britain. Cok Pring currently maintains a busy teaching schedule from her home in Singapadu, where she trains and coaches Balinese and international students in dance and arja, a Balinese dance-drama tradition.
This is one of the best Balinese gamelan orchestras outside of Bali and definitely worth checking out! Whether you’ve been to Bali or not, you’ll enjoy the hypnotic music and amazing, provocative dancing. Utterly mesmerizing!
Tickets for this performance are available at Mother Truckers and on the North Columbia Schoolhouse website. For more information, visit http://www.northcolumbiaschoolhouse.org.
Source: North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center
WHAT: Balinese dance and music
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 24, Gates open at 6 p.m., Show at 7 p.m.
WHERE: The North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center on the San Juan Ridge, 17894 Tyler Foote Road, Nevada City
WHO: Gamelan Sekar Jaya
PRICE: $25 advance and NCSCC members. $30 door. $8 kids (5 to 12). Available at Mother Truckers, and online at http://www.northcolumbiaschoolhouse.org or. Or call the NCSCC office at (530) 265-2826.
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