33rd Bali Arts Festival June 11th – 09th July 2011
Each year, the Bali Arts Festival, beside the fed classical dances of the island, such as the legong, gambuh, kecak, barong, baris, mask dances and the like, is based on the theme around which new “dance choreography” is produced and old village dances and activities revived. Over the years, the whole range of classical Balinese stories – Ramayana, Mahabharata, Sutasoma, Panji – have thus been turned into “colossal” Sendratari Ballets.
The main challenge to the Arts Festival is obviously economic in nature. As village life is increasingly feeling the strains of monetary considerations, dancers, musicians and others cannot be expected to continue participating simply for the sake and the pleasure of it. As costs soar, new sources of financing have to be found. The obvious answer is the private sector and in particular the tourism industry. The greater task then is to convince the hotels, travel agencies and tourist guides to be more participatory in the Arts Festival rather than to their own sponsored events.
Considering the pride the Balinese have in their culture, and the adaptability and dynamism they have always demonstrated, this little hurdle can be overcome. Trust the Balinese. They will eventually succeed to transform their tradition into a modern, Balinese culture of their own.