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HUDSON VALLEY GAMELAN SPRING PERFORMANCE WILL BRING THE SOUNDS OF BALI TO BARD ON THURSDAY, MAY 9 Fourth year of performances at Bard College to feature guest artist I Nyoman Suadin, artistic director I Nyoman Saptanyana, and Balinese dancers

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-The Hudson Valley Gamelan (HVG) will perform its annual spring concert on Thursday, May 9, at Bard College. The program-featuring Balinese music and dance-is free and open to the public and begins at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall. "A rare performance of gamelan music was the major event of the evening," wrote Peter Marshall in the Lakeville Journal Compass of a recent performance by the HVG at Bard. "It is a fascinating form of music making . . . a great chance for many to experience music from East Asia."

The program includes performances of traditional gong kebyar music including Gilak Sasak and Jagul, as well as the welcome dance Pendet Penyambutan and a sacred ritual dance, Telek, in which four dancers portray temple guards protecting a middle courtyard. An original work for gamelan and Indian tabla by Bard senior Ehren Hanson will also be performed. The featured guest artist is I Nyoman Suadin, the director of gamelan music programs at Eastman School of Music and Swarthmore College, who was the first artistic director of the HVG. Other guest artists include Balinese dancers Ari Candrawati Saptanyana, Kristina Frederickson, Mita Gedhe, and Ratna Dewe. A gender wayang ensemble will also perform music from Wayand Kulit-traditional Balinese shadow puppet plays.

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, under the artistic direction of I Nyoman Saptanyana, comprises two ensembles in residence at Bard-Chandra Kancana (Golden Moon), composed of Bard students, and Giri Mekar (Mountain Flower), consisting of members of the community. The members of the Hudson Valley Gamelan include Miya Buxton, John Carnes, Lela Chapman, Kate Collins, Alison Craig, Walt Farrell, Ehren Hanson, April Hayley, Natalie Hitami, Garry Kvistad, Alexa Leonard, Caitlin Lord, Laura Merando, Marianna Milhorat, Sam Morgan, Heather Petrie, Sue Pilla, Nicci Reisnour, Anne Stebinger, Julien Valenstein, and Bill Ylitalo.

The ensembles play a set of 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, the founding member of Giri Mekar. This ensemble, before locating to Bard, was founded in 1988 and performed at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock and the Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie. The first joint performance by Chandra Kanchana and Giri Mekar was in May of 1999.

This program has been made possible with the generous support of Luise and Samuel H. Scripps. The HVG also gives special thanks to the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia and to Gamelan Dharma Swara, both in Manhattan, for their help in support of this performance.

For further information, call the Music Program at Bard College at 845-758-7250.

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This event was last updated on 05-01-2002