Balinese Living Arts: Siwa Nataraja – Bali Unmasked

Posted: 12 September 2018 Author: sikuska

In Bali, painting, sculpture, dance, musical performance and crafting ritual offerings demand that the core essence of each work is first offered to the Almighty. Artists rejoice in the pursuit of perfection in actions as simple as preparing floral offerings or as sublime as the total surrender to a mystical trance dance.

Siwa Nataraja – Life Lived as Art is a weekly stage performance at the Puri Kantor Palace in Central Ubud, depicting a traditional Balinese banjar where, one-by-one, talented artisans are seen busily creating traditional flutes, masks, ritual offerings, paintings, and traditional puppets. This is presented against an ever-changing scene of Balinese dance and life-like characters.

Siwa Nataraja, and another twice-weekly production, Dewi Sri – The Quest for Balance, has been made possible by the culturally committed Desa Visesa Ubud, and created by two living legends in the use of puppetry and traditional dance. Peter Wilson, a renowned Australian theatre director, has Made Sidia, a leading director and Balinese puppet master, to convey a deeper appreciation of Balinese culture.

In this pioneering approach to contemporary theatre, elements of fine art and ritual combine to communicate the extensive and intensive role artistic refinement plays in the daily life of the Balinese. Each performance ends with the audience and artists gathering together on stage, reflecting the age-old generosity of the Balinese who share their rich culture with island visitors.

Siwa Nataraja will be performed at the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival Gala Opening on 24 October. It is usually performed at the Puri Kantor Palace on Sundays from 7:00pm-8:00pm. Dewi Sri – The Quest for Balance is performed on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00pm-6:00pm at Desa Visesa Ubud.

For more information about Balinese Living Arts and for bookings click here.

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