ARMA Open Stage

Attached please find the complete ARMA Open Stage schedule for the remainder of1997. All performances start at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets to Performances Rp 10,000 adults; Rp 5,000 children For more information please telephone 976659 (Ext. 44) or 974228

Before a performance at the ARMA Open Stage, enjoy a snack at the Warung
Kopi coffee shop located near the Open Stage. After the show, we recommend
dinner at either Cafe ARMA (Italian & Indonesian specialties) or exquisite
Thai food at Kokokan Club. For bookings or further information please telephone 975742 or 96495


MOON LEGONG TRANCE DANCE KECAK
Full Moon Saturday 19 July Sunday 20 July
New Moon Sunday 3 August Monday 4 August
Full Moon Monday 18 August Tuesday 19 August
New Moon Monday 1 September Tuesday 2 September
Full Moon Tuesday 16 September Wednesday 17 September (Galungan)
New Moon Wednesday 1 October Thursday 2 October
Full Moon Thursday 16 October Friday 17 October
New Moon Thursday 30 October Friday 31 October
Full Moon Friday 14 November Saturday 15 November
New Moon Saturday 29 November Sunday 30 November
Full Moon Sunday 14 December Monday 15 December
New Moon Sunday 28 December Monday 29 December

Kecak Dance

created by Sardono W. Kusomo
performed by Sekehe Gunung Jati Teges Kanginan, Peliatan

In the 1930s, two Western residents, painter Walter Spies and author Katharane Mershon felt that the "cak" chorus of the ritual sanghyang trance dances, taken out of its ritual context and with an added storyline, would be a hit among their friends and other visitors. Working with Limbak and his troupe in the village of Bedulu, they incorporated baris movements into the role of the cak leader. Eventually the story of the Ramayana was added, although it wasn't until the 1960s that elaborate costumes were used. The Kecak Dance, as it is now called, involves a chorus of at least 100 men. They sit in concentric circles around an oil lamp and begin to chant. The sound they make is "cak-cak-cak-cak". Up to seven different rhythmical combinations of the chant are interwoven, creating a tapestry of vocal sounds as the musical accompaniment to the dance. A juru tandak or narrator sings the tale of the Ramayana as the dance drama progresses.

The Kecak Dance is often called the "Monkey Dance" because at the end of the play the men become the monkey army sent to rescue Sita. The "cak" sound also resembles the chattering of monkeys.

* This choreography is a development from the Kecak described above. While there are many similarities with the more "traditional" Kecak, there are also some major innovations. It was created in 1974 by the renowned Javanese dancer and choreographer Sardono W. Kusomo. It is rarely performed, except at specially commissioned performances.

THE STORY: The Battle between Subali and Sugriwa - from the Ramayana epic Subali and Sugriwa, two brothers who were bold and brave, were asked by the god Indra to kill the giant, Mahesa Sura. If they were successful, Indra would give the goddess Tara to the brothers as a reward. Mahesa Sura lived in a cave. Subali entered the cave and his brother Sugriwa waited at the opening of the cave knowing that if the water of the river that flowed from the cave were mixed with the red blood, it would mean the giant had been killed; if on the other hand, the waters were white it would mean that Subali had fallen. Subali was able to kill the giant Mahesa Sura by banging his head against the wall of the cave. The river water was a mixture of red and white blood, and Sugriwa thought that both the giant as well as Subali had died. He closed the cave opening with a large stone, then went to the god Indra to collect his reward - marriage to the goddess Tara. When Subali managed finally to get out of the cave, he could not find his brother. When he realized his brother had already been given the goddess Tara, he became very angry and a war broke out. Sugriwa lost and fled into the forest where he met Sang Rama who was searching for his wife, Sinta. With the help of Sang Rama, Subali was defeated and Sugriwa won the goddess once again.

Legong Trance Dance

Sekaa Andir, Tista, Kerambitan, West Bali

Batel Wayang

This is an instrumental piece taking many of its motifs from the wayang or shadow puppet repertoire.

Prabangsa

This is a reconstruction of an old Andir (Legong) piece which had not been performed in Tista for over 70 years. In the tiny village of Tista (Kerambitan, West Bali) the tradition of Andir dates back to 1925 . Working with the two Legong instructors from this village, Men Sadika and Men Sana, and some of the older musicians, the Tista group was able to reconstruct this dance in 1995.

The people in Tista have very strong religious beliefs. This dance serves as a way of protecting the village. When the dance was reconstructed in 1995, a new Rangda mask had to be made. Auspicious days had to be confirmed for the cutting and the carving of the wood and a special pasupati ceremony had to be undertaken whereby the dancers were "wedded" to the costumes and the dance. As the mask has been consecrated, it holds sacred powers for the people of Tista. It is very likely that when Prabangsa stabs the Rangda one of the dancers and several musicians will go into trance. This is quite common in Bali (although not at all common in Legong dances) and is nothing to be alarmed about .

This performance is actually a ritual based on keeping the balance between light and darkness, positive and negative, life and death. For the Balinese, evil and destruction can never be eradicated, just as goodness and light can never be extinguished. Balance must be sought and maintained. What you are witnessing is a rite of psychic pain, a ritual of exorcism. Darkness must be offered its place of expression outside the temple so that those within this rite (even by watching) are cleansed and ready to make offerings within the temple.

The story:

Raden Wungsu, the younger brother of King Lasem, wanted to marry a princess of the Gegelang kingdom. He asked the advice of his brother King Lasem who agreed to help him by sending a messenger to Gegelang with a marriage proposal. However, in the letter a threat was made that if the princess refused this marriage proposal, the King of Mataram would destroy Gegelang.

On hearing this, Raden Misa Prabangsa, a prince of the Jenggala kingdom who had become one of Gegelang's great patriots, took out his keris (dagger) and said "Messenger, go home and tell your king that I, Raden Misa Prabangsa will face the magical power of your king. You will not be able to take one inch of our land as long as I am alive". The messenger went home and related what had happened. The King of Mataram, in his anger, changed form into Rangda, the sorcerer-queen and went to fight Raden Misa Prabangsa.

In the dance, you will see the two Legong dancers as Prabangsa and the punakawan (servant) discussing what should be done. In the end, Prabangsa draws his keris and stabs Rangda.


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