Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—An evening of Balinese music and dance, sponsored by the Asian Studies Program, will be presented on Wednesday, December 8, at 7:00 p.m., at Bard College. The performance, free and open to the public, will be held in the Chapel of the Holy Innocents on the Bard campus.

The evening features a performance by the Hudson Valley Gamelan (Chandra Kanchana, Golden Moon), directed by Ni Ketut Suryatini and composed of Bard College students and some community members. The performance will also feature several Balinese dances, gender wayang (music for the shadow puppet theater), and talks by Suryatini and ethnomusicologist Edward Herbst about the religious culture and heritage of Bali and Indonesia.

Ni Ketut Suryatini is a Fulbright scholar-in-residence at Bard College for the 1999–2000 academic year. Suryatini is on the faculty of the College of the Performing Arts (STSI), the preeminent musical institution in Bali. She comes from a family of specialists in the gender wayang. Her brother, I Wayan Suweca, considered one of the finest Balinese musicians, was the musical director of the first professional gamelan ensemble in the United States. Suryatini is a composer, playwright, singer, and dancer who has participated in five international performing arts tours to Japan, Europe, and Canada. She was one of the first female graduates of the STSI.

Edward Herbst, an ethnomusicologist, is the author of Voices in Bali: Energies and Perceptions in Vocal Music and Dance Theater. "He assumes several voices . . . ," writes Deborah Jowitt in the Village Voice, "to mingle highly technical musical analysis, aesthetic considerations, meditations on Balinese traditions and how they are taught, observation of performances, and anecdotal passages about his own attempts to master vocal styles and theatrical roles."

The ensemble will play a style of twentieth-century Balinese music, complex and percussion based, known as gamelan gong kebyar. Gamelan ensembles are traditionally composed of twenty to thirty musicians who play metallophones, gongs, drums, and flutes. Balinese dance will accompany the music.

Garry Kvistad, the founder and proprietor of Woodstock Chimes and Anyone Can Whistle, has placed the gamelan instruments on indefinite loan to Bard College to facilitate the study and performance of Indonesian music and dance. The gamelan instruments were made in Blaubatuh, Bali, in 1978 and were used to establish gamelan ensembles in Berkeley, California, and New Haven, Connecticut, before Kvistad purchased them in 1988. Members of the gamelan ensemble Giri Mekar Mountain Flower join with the Bard students to form Chandra Kanchana.

A raffle to benefit Indonesian orphanages follows the concert, featuring Balinese art and other prizes. For further information about the performance, call 914-758-6822.

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This event was last updated on 03-02-2001