May 18 & 19
Balinese Music & Dance Spectacle
GAMELAN GITA ASMARA
as part of GONG! The Gamelan Festival
Gamelan Gita Asmara’s 2012 annual concert brings an ambitious mix of classical, modern, rockin’, and sweet music and dance to the Wong Theater at SFU Woodward’s, all highlighting the growing virtuosity of Vancouver’s own 25-piece gamelan devoted to the best traditional arts of Bali. This year, as they begin to ramp up for a 2013 tour to Bali—their first—they have notched up the intensity of the show even higher than in the past, and completely tuned and renovated the gamelan instruments, doubling the power and vibrancy of the sound.
The gamelan alone plays Sekar Gendot, which showcases the stop-and-start, signature super-fast interlocking melodies of modern Balinese music, and pairs this with the symphonic Tabuh Pisan Bhaskara composed this year by music director I Wayan Sudirana. Based on an ancient sacred melody used in temple rituals, this explosive new piece builds up a huge range of moods, from serene to ferocious. For this piece guest musician I Dewa Made Supartha plays the trompong (gong-row) like a concerto soloist.
As for dance, the classical suite Legong Kuntul, for a quartet of dancers depicting graceful herons in the ricefields, features guest dancers Keiko Ninomiya, and, direct from Bali for the first time, 14-year old Ni Putu Suci Pramesti. Also presented is the modern powerhouse Wiran Jaya (Victorious Hero) a torpedo of crashing gongs and intense movement danced as a solo by dance director Ni Putu Widiantini.