Bart and I really love to go to a big cultural or sports event as an photography occasion for him, and as a cultural experience for me. Bali is not only about hang out with friends and icy cold beers (although it’s also very nice!), sun bathing on the white sand beach. Ceremony such as ‘Ngaben‘ (Balinese cremation) is very often one of the main tourist attraction, specially when a royal family died, it must be HUGE!.
But one special thing about watching the parade of Pesta Kesenian Bali or Bali Arts Festival Opening is you got to witness the BEAUTY of Balinese dance, costume and musical performance…from all the regency of the island. It’s soo.. gorgeously colorful! and I never stop wowwing everytime I see this dance group performing. Balinese people are surely one of the biggest ethnic group in Indonesia who still pride themselves preserving their traditional culture, ie. dance, music, costume, food.
My first Bali Arts Festival parade was in 2003, it was at Renon Park in Denpasar, the opening ceremony is always inaugurated by our President ( and I got to wave to my President! ).
I used to be a balinese dancer for 6 years when I was a little kid, my mom put me into this dance course in Bandung, so I understand the rhythm of Balinese Gamelan-the traditional instrument, I know the moves, and this wowwing just never stop as each regency of Bali displays their performance.
This year, of 2009, they changed the venue for the Opening Ceremony Puputan Park,Denpasar which I think a little bit too small and hectic to have a big parade with thousand of spectators on that day. Anyway, I had some troubles choosing the best pictures Bart took, because each photo has its own story and they’re just all beautiful and colorful!
Only this year, as well, I decided to see some cultural performance during this full month of event, at the Art Center in Denpasar, with my two new friends from Austin,Texas who are my blog readers – Read more about this interesting friendship on my next blog post here !
Francisco, Brian, Bart and me found this funny graffiti wall next to the car park lot at Art Center.
We were hoping to see real Bali cultural shows, too bad when we got there, it seemed to me more like a bazaar or day market. Food stalls with western food, where I was actually looking for a traditional balinese dish (pizza,pop corn,chicken nugget??? at a Bali cultural event!!??! hmm..), Spongebob, Dora Emon, Hello Kitty balloon vendor, a long hall of booths that only sell : silver,jewelry, shoes and Kebaya/traditional costume-more like a boutique to me. Hmmm…I think they’re still struggling from bringing this event into a cultural and traditional show case to the world as it is more like commercial trade show with ‘Art Festival’ make up in the label..
But I’m glad that we saw this one show called Mask Dance – Drama Parade, although we didn’t see the whole show, as the sunset on 66 beach were waiting for us
Anyway, I will keep coming to Bali Arts Festival, and will invite you to come specially on the opening ceremony day.And hey!you can still come now, click here to view the schedule.
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