The Bali Arts Festival is a educational treat for lucky visitors who are in Bali until mid July. The festival traditionally is organized in the mid-June through mid-July. It is the perfect instant to witness Bali’s wealth of performing arts. You'll also catch a glimpse of a variety of cultural highlights from other islands in Indonesia. It's one of the major highlights in Bali’s calendar of events. The annual celebration showcases a variety of artworks and cultural achievements.
It calls upon the public to the Taman Werdhi Budaya Arts Centre in Denpasar. Most of the daily exhibitions and art performances are paying attention to various concepts here. On regular days, a visit to the Denpasar Art Centre is a small tour to respect magnificent sculptures and Balinese architectural features. It's also a venue of option for photo shoots with exotic backdrops.
But throughout the Bali Arts Festival in June and July, the complex becomes animate with colourful traditional bamboo and coconut leaf decorations and banners. Crowds get together in front of its open stages, auditoriums and outdoor pavilions. You can observe a variety of traditional and contemporary dances, shadow puppetry, music compositions and youth competitions that fill the festival agenda. Hundreds of artists from Denpasar, Bali’s eight provinces, neighbouring islands, and even art troupes from abroad, contribute and showcase their talents here. At present in its 40th year, the Bali Arts Festival returns June 23.
Listed find the top things to do there:-
1. Enjoy the strategic location of the centre
Ardha Chandra or also known as Art Center in Bahasa Indonesia is conventional stage and exhibition hall located at Kecamatan Kesiman, municipality of Denpasar. More accurately is at the southern end of the Nusa Indah street of East Denpasar city.
Three accesses can be taken to arrive at the area, one is from Sanur taking Jalan Hang Tuah from where bigger cars can enter, or from the crossroad of Jalan Gianyar and Gatot Subroto which is mostly preferred to get with traffic flows already in line as in Indonesia including Bali the line is on the left.
Third way in is from west Denpasar city which are obtainable many roads, but all are hard due to the dense traffic, Only smaller cars such as taxi or minivan are recommended to access art center from the west.
Geographically today ardha chandra looks lay in the middle of Denpasar city, due to the extension of the east Denpasar further east, up to the border with Kabupaten Gianyar, a distance of more than 5 km east and with the opening of beach road to the east Bali the expansion of the city is even further east along the road. Before 2000 the Kecak dance was offered at one of the corner of ardha chandra, and due to the difficulty for bigger bus then organizer of the dance enthused the stage to the new place just on the right side of main road from Sanur to Kesiman.
2. Explore the beauty of the Art centre building
Ardha Chandra or Art Center architecturally is a multifaceted building with the main mark of a big conventional open stage. Constructed by a traditional Balinese architect Ida Bagus Pugur, opened for public in 1973. Besides the traditional open stage there are a lot of buildings and hall constructed in Balinese architecture with premium decoration.
These buildings are consisting of two types, one type is for enduring exhibition and others are for seasonal exhibition, especially during Bali Art Festival of June every year. Two buildings with the best Bali architecture are for permanent exhibition where one can see a variety of art of Bali from dance facilities or figures, carvings, clothing arts, paintings, and others.
3. Enjoy the Traditional Art Festival
During Bali art festival the whole buildings are crowded with exhibitions of all type of products, not only art products but also history, books, daily needs, creative products, governments departments with their duties and others.
A real lively situation occurs during one month of the feast. The activities at the open stage even more energetic, as scheduled life shows present their representatives from traditional dance or drama or pantomime from Bali, other Indonesian provinces and foreign participants. Faithful foreign participants so far such as India, Thailand, USA, France, Australia, Japan, and Korea participate.
New countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia have also actively participated. The most interesting moment is during the inauguration of the art festival, which is always started from Puputan City square with procession of dances, musics, decorations, marshal art and others, finishing at Renon city square where called upon by high officials and foreign officials are waiting in a temporary set up Bali traditional pavilions with thatched roof. Along the way the procession which consist of a mixture of artists show their events or dance catch up by many TV stations or journalists.
The procession usually starts at 9 pm and finishes by 12 noon marking the start of a month long art festival. The liveliness of the situation can be seen both at the exhibition and at the open stage starting from the night of the opening ceremony with the parade. Every evening or night has been planned the turn of each representative to present their show which is normally has been established long before the event.
During the day the open stage also not always rest, but sometimes the school or universities will block with many activities such as life drum band, drama or any other art activities they can present. Beside regular show there are also kinds of competition among the same traditional music of Bali such as Gong, and the winner will be given the appreciation. All these various activities schedule can be obtained from the office of Dinas Kebudayaan in Renon Denpasar.
4. Do something to make people aware of this beautiful place
It is a pity that Dinas Kebudayan Provinsi Bali is still not yet developed despite the fact of the contemporary technology that already freely available in Bali with cheap price. This circumstance making the information about Bali Art Festival is not yet widely known by the people.
Although the people know that the art festival is prepared regularly every year during June, but detailed information on the activity schedule is tough to find. It is probably lack of expert manager or staff that has made this big job never known by most of the visitors to Bali and even by tour organizers.
If this condition continues there is a worry that during the economic crisis when the government could not bear the fund then the festival will be stopped and become the joke of other countries or even those who do not like Bali getting progress.
Too many guests during Denpasar city tours express their intention to come to Bali throughout the art festival if they know what to see during the time of their stay in Bali and what would it signify for the people. Tour guide never could explain the right information, as the information is not accessible.
So, when a tour organization visiting Denpasar city tour, although also including a stop at Art Center, it is only visiting the architecture and the everlasting exhibition which is basically the same and can be found outside of the complex.
A great hope that Dinas Kebudayaan of Bali will appreciate their role in making the art festival not only an administrative work , but also a endorsement for Bali or Indonesia in general, make any one aware of the culture, so don't blame on any country. In the future it might claim the aspect of Indonesian culture as their copy right production just because Indonesia is fail show to the world that it is theirs.
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6. Enjoy the Stage performances
At the Ardha Chandra stage of the Bali Arts Centre, see a series of stage performances by the Indonesia Arts Institute (ISI) of Denpasar. On the following days, the a variety of stages and special venues come to life with the wide and colourful mixture of performances from different art groups from all over the island and Indonesia. The month-long festival offer you the best showcase of Balinese and Indonesian arts and culture in the entire year!
7. For the music lovers, explore the traditional music
Enjoy conventional music and gamelan recitals at the Ayodya and Angsoka stages. Observe the evening Balinese documentary film screenings at the Ksirarnawa auditorium. You can find Balinese children’s Gong Kebyar gamelan jam sessions at the Ardha Candra amphitheatre. You can also enjoy vocal, musical and dance collaboration. Look around through handicrafts, paintings and sculptures at exhibition.
Conventional culinary bazaars feature favourite Balinese dishes. The Bali Arts Festival usually closes with a lively ceremony. These include an evening traditional ballet known as 'sendratari’. The show is organized at the Ardha Candra open stage from 20:00.
Opening from: Mon–Sat, 10:00–22:00 Location: Denpasar Arts Centre (Taman Werdhi Budaya), Jalan Nusa Indah, Denpasar Ph: +62 (0)361 245 294