Monday, March 11, 2013

March 10, By Basil

Although sad, today was somewhat refreshing, at least for me, as it was better than spending the day in the hospital. After a good nights sleep, we began rehearsals at around 10 am and they went swimmingly. First the girls performed their dance routine while the boys filmed them. Tarika (our guide,) made last minute adjustments and kept morales high with her shining smile. Next came time for everyone to sit at their instruments and begin practicing our Gamelan. It was hard for me to get back into the swing of things after missing a day of practice due to illness but eventually it worked itself out.

After a few rounds of playing the song we proceeded into the movie room and watched a film on Balinese history. Once over, everyone proceeded to do their own thing and relax  before the big performance. Before the performance, the girls had to meet at 4:30 to get their hair and makeup done. The instructors did a wonderful job making the girls look jaw dropping beautiful with thick accents on the eyebrows and blue, red and yellow eye shadow. They were also provided with stunning costumes. The guys wore button down shirts, sarongs, sashes and headbands. We all took pictures together and played with the instructors kids before heading over to the restaurant for the performance.

The girls started off with the dance and they did a fabulous job. The audience responded with thunderous applause and then it was everyones time to shine with the instruments. It wasn't flawless but the audience seemed stunned with how well we did. Once finished the pressure was off and everyone lit up with smiles on their faces. A lone dancer went up on stage and then went into the audience and picked out people to dance on stage with her. Everyone had a good chuckle with that and then finally we went our separate ways and proceeded to have dinner.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 10, final full day in Bali.  by Aubrey

            This truly was an amazing day. After we all had breakfast, we started to rehearse for our final performance. The dancers rehearsed their dance first and then we rehearsed the music. When we played the Gamelan, I was a little nervous, because some of us were still making some mistakes in the song that we were playing. After playing the song a couple of times, I played cards with some friends, and then ate lunch. I spent the rest of the day walking around the town surrounding the hotel and playing the didjoree doo, an instrument I had gotten from the man teaching us, Wayan. Then came time that we all had to meet in the space that we had rehearsed in. I put on my sarong (with help from Danny) and then relaxed while the girls got dressed and put on their makeup. I spent majority of the time playing with Wayan’s son, and socializing with my friends. Then came time that we had to walk to where we were performing. As the dancers walked onstage, I started to appreciate the experience that we were having even more. When it was our turn to play Gamelan, I felt prepared. As Basil and I played the first notes that introduced the songs, I started to feel the music. I think we played better than ever before. When the song ended, I was sad that this experience was almost over, but even happier that it happened. After, there was a Social dance where a girl from here in Bali would dance, and then invite a person to go onstage with her. Some of the people that she brought onstage were Basil, Augus, and I, and Jack and Mr. Sacks were picked last. It was so fun to go up and dance and see my peer’s dance, even if we did not know what we were doing. I don’t think I will ever forget this. I do not want to leave, but I have to. I hope to return to this great island one day and continue to study Gamelan and the culture of Bali and meet up with the friends that I have made while I’ve been here. Leaving will be very hard, and I know I will shed a tear as I get onto the plane to leave.

March 9th a day late

Today we had our final full practice before performance day. We spent the morning practicing gamelan and learning about colonialism in Indonesia. The practice went well considering that we were missing Basil due to his appendicitis scare. We were all relieved to see him back at the hotel by lunch with news that he did not need the surgery.
During lunch Frances and I formally interviewed Tarika, our Balinese dance instructor and guide, for our blog entry project. As I walked back inside I was welcomed by the sound of a shimmering round drum-like instrument and the sight of the smoothest wooden alto saxophone I had ever seen (both made by our gamelan instructor, Wayen). I felt like I was in a trace all afternoon after I playing the sax.
In the afternoon some students played games in the pool with Balinese children while others went for a run on the boardwalk, swam to a little island and/or went shopping in town. Carrie recorded where everyone was while she lounged on the beach with half a dozen Balinese women giving her massages, pedicures and manicures.
For dinner a few others and I enjoyed traditional bowl of local meats, fishes, vegetables and rice all for less than $2 at the local night market. The market was full of live and character. We even watched a precession of Balinese parade down the street in preparation for the upcoming New Year. We came back to the hotel full with new Balinese items, exotic fruit, fresh pastries and tired feet.

Please enjoy some of my pictures from today!

Friday, March 8, 2013

March 8, by Amanda Excursion day- Today we went to 3 different places, a Balinese Musical High School, a Green Temple and a traditional market. At the High School named SMK Negeri 3 Sukawati, the students and teachers welcomed us with a musical presentation, 22 students played the Balinese Gamelan and the teacher said that it took only one week for them to learn a piece that was around 7 minutes long. Right after that, some of the dance students preformed a traditional Balinese dance, male and female (the girls danced the same choreography we have been learning and it was really nice to see it preformed by a group that knows it very well). The dancers invited us to join them to do the choreography Tarika taught us during the time that we have been here, correcting our movements and dance positions. Later on we made our way over to the Presentation Hall, we watched an amazing music and dance presentation. Two female students danced the traditional Balinese dance, a presentation of the mythology animal “Barong” also occurred. After visiting the school, we went to have lunch at a restaurant named “Bebek Bengil” where the best dish was the Crispy Duck. The Goa Gojah Temple we visited was amazing and it was surrounded by native vegetation. Everything was so green and absolutely incredible! To finish our day we went shopping. The tradition market offered a variety of Balinese food and handmade clothes, artistic souvenirs and touristic stuff ( I heart Bali).

March 7 by Lina
Hi all! Today was our ninth day in Bali and it started unusually early
for all of us. The ceremony that Wayan was supposed to join by playing
the drums took place today, so that we got to leave at 7.30 in the
morning already. But luckily the early waking-up was worth it, because
I have never seen something so intensively and amazing cultural
ritual. From the moment we got into Wayan’s house temple, everything
you were able to see was traditional and focused on Balinese culture.
Women carrying the offerings crossed our way, Wayan and many other
Balinese playing the traditional instruments and men dressed in
unusual clothes covering their faces with masks of which I and a few
others even got scared in the first moment. It was basically one of
the most impressing things I have ever seen in my life.
After the rain disturbed the ceremony for some time, we went to the
house of one of Wayan’s friends to have another traditional Balinese
lunch that especially the boys enjoyed, because of the big meat
selection. After this little rest we continued our way to the biggest
Balinese fabric for the producing of the typical sarong and other
Balinese customs. It was amazing to see the toughness this kind of
producing requires and we all got excited and could not believe that
all was handmade while one of the staff taught us about every
machine’s function and how exactly those materials are created. After
also having the opportunity to buy those finish surroundings and other
stuff in the shop we went to another place where all the traditional
instruments are created. Since it is one of the biggest ones in Bali,
I got pretty impressed by the tough process. After any
explanation by the owner of the fabric Mrs. Clark and Mr. Sacks
decided to get two original Balinese cymbols as souvenir for the
school. Then we finally got back to the hotel and had still time to
relax, before some of a us, including me, went out for dinner to
fulfill this great day!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It’s our 8th day in Bali now and we are really enjoying ourselves. In the morning we all met in the music room where we practiced the Gamelan, after going over our piece a few times and perfecting details we all switched instruments. It was really interesting playing a different instrument and learning different patterns, I’m really glad we did it. In the afternoon we practiced our dancing. We split into small groups and danced separately in front of our instructor so she could critique and fix our mistakes. After dancing me and a few other students decided to go surfing with the locals, it was so much fun! Overall we had a great day!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday the 5th

Selemat pagi! Hello! Today, Tuesday, we started off the day with a delicious breakfast comprised of fresh Balinese fruit and rice, noodles, and pancakes! In music class we progressed tremendously in perfecting the Gamelan. We learned the last parts of the performance, which were fun and made use of our mouths. Sofia’s song was translated and she performed for the first time in context to the Gamelan. In dance class, we practiced Pendent, the form of dance we are learning, and watched a video of ourselves performing it! We also watched videos of other groups performing the dance. After classes, we took a fifteen-minute drove to a restaurant on a beautiful beach. From our hotel, you can’t see the sunset because we are on the east side of Bali, so the view from the restaurant would have been very new and beautiful, but it was so cloudy today! However, the cloudiness made the ocean a beautiful color and we took great pictures, and had SO much fun. At the restaurant we tried delicious fresh Balinese fish and vegetables sautéed with delicious spices and sauces, and pineapple and coconut juice. After dinner, some of us walked to a great gelato store, which Dillon approved as “VERY Eat Pray Love”. Overall, it was a great day!