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A month of art performances in Bali

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Already known for its fascinating cultural arts, Bali is definitely the right place to hold a month-long arts festival.

Now, to coincide with the school’s summer holiday, the island is hosting the 35th Bali Arts Festival, the one that is full of interesting performances from Indonesian and foreign artists, where each performers will showcase their respective local cultures.

The festival began last weekend and will runs through July 13.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who hosted the festival’s opening ceremony at Niti Mandala Park in Denpasar, highlighted the importance of this event both for the country and the island.

The opening parade was held under drizzling rain on Saturday, taking its cue from the President who signaled the start of festivities by banging a gong.

The festival, which is being held at the Indonesian Arts Institute (ISI) in Denpasar, is already packed with participants, who total 15,000 artists and performers from Indonesia and seven other countries.

The United States, Timor Leste, Japan and India have sent delegations to perform at the festival, while those from England, France and South Korea are collaborating with local Bali artists.

The Bali Arts Festival has a five-yearly grand theme, with sub-themes each year in between. This year's sub-theme is Taksu (Awakening Creativity and Identity).

“Taksu encourages harmony between the bhuwana agung (the universe) and the bhuwana alit (the world/ human beings)," Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said at the opening ceremony as quoted by Antara news agency.



What to watch
The Bali Arts Festival features traditional performances as well as contemporary ones. Delegates from Gianyar regency, for example, perform a piece combining both entitled Batman, which displays traditional Balinese moves together with acrobatics and hip-hop.


At the venue
The arts center at the Indonesian Arts Institute (ISI), Denpasar, encompasses four theater halls, namely the Ayodya,
Ksinarnawa, Wantilan and Ratna Kanda. All the performances will take place in these auditoria.

Visitors to the Bali Arts Festival 2013 can not only see art performances for free but they can also witness other events that will be held, such as a painting competition, a wayang (Indonesian puppetry) competition, parades and documentary film screenings.

Last changed: Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm

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