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Press Release

Hudson Valley Gamelan Performs Balinese Folk Music and Dance on December 13

Eleanor Davis

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Hudson Valley Gamelan (HVG) will perform its annual winter concert on Saturday, December 13. Presented by the College’s Music Program, the performance features traditional Balinese folk music and dance and begins at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall, with a suggested donation of $10 (free for the Bard community). 

Guest performers include Marka Gustavsson of the Colorado String Quartet on viola, Peter Steele on Balinese percussion from Gamelan Dharma Swara, Bill Ylitalo on alto saxophone, Jimmy Pelliteri on electric guitar, and Balinese dancer Shoko Yamamuro, also from Gamelan Dharma Swara.

Gamelan is the name given to the traditional orchestras and ensembles of Java and Bali, which are made up primarily of percussion instruments. Bard College’s program in Balinese music and dance was established in 1998. The HVG comprises two ensembles in residence at Bard—Chandra Kanchana (Golden Moon), composed of Bard students, and Giri Mekar (Mountain Flower), consisting of members of the community at large as well as Bard faculty members. The artistic director of both ensembles is Tjokorda Gde Arsa Artha.

The groups play gamelan gong kebyar instruments crafted from jackfruit wood, bamboo, and bronze by Pande Gabeleran, a gongsmith from Blahbatuh, Gianyar, Bali. These instruments are on permanent loan to Bard College, courtesy of Woodstock Percussion owner and CEO Garry Kvistad, who won a Grammy award for his participation in the 1998 recording of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians and is also a member of the percussion ensemble Nexus. Kvistad founded Giri Mekar in 1988, and the ensemble performed at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock and Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie before taking up residence at Bard. The first joint performance by Chandra Kanchana and Giri Mekar was in May 1999.

An accomplished dancer, musician, and artist, Tjokorda Gde Arsa Artha, born in Ubud, Bali, came to the United States in 1982 to attend the Art Students League on scholarship. Through the Asia Society of New York and other organizations, he has performed in programs representing the visual and performing arts of Bali. As a fine artist, his work is in the permanent collection of the government of Indonesia; he was commissioned by UNICEF in 1989 for the painting The Flags of the United Nations

and in 1997 was an award recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. A permanent resident of the United States, he is director of the Pomona Cultural Center in Pomona, New York.

The HVG welcomes new members. For information about the concert or joining the ensemble, call 845-679-8792 or 845-679-8624.


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This event was last updated on 12-02-2008