Ubud 1998

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Ubud is the cultural and artistic center of Bali and is where we chose to spend most of our time
Oka Wati Sunset Bungalows
Located just off Monkey Forest Road and presided over by Oka Wati, a well know figure around Ubud for many years

 
Our choice was an upper room as they are more private
The best rooms  are in the main compound

There are budget rooms across Oka Wati's rice paddy
Casa Luna Cookery Class at Casa Luna Guesthouse

A most enjoyable way to spend a morning, followed by lunch.  More a demonstration than a class.  Janet De Neefe gave a fascinating glimpse into Balinese cooking and family life.  Book in advance as the classes are small and soon fill up.
Also visit Casa Luna,  Janet's popular bakery and restaurant on Jalan Raya

Balinese  dancers learn their craft as children from their mothers as soon as they are born, Balinese music is played to them in the womb and they are taught to dance with their hands before they can walk. Official training as a classical dancer starts as young as age 7.  
This dance class took place at the Royal Palace on Sunday mornings at 11.00am
 


Meanwhile the boys seemed to prefer making some noise

Wayang Kulit
The repertoire is derived from the Javanese legends of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and The 'Kulit' is made of cured buffalo hide, pierced to a filigree finish, painted and attached to a wooden stick

Go behind the screen and watch the Dalang at work. As well as manipulating the puppets he is the narrator, the voices of all the characters and the conductor of the orchestra. There are no written scripts, the dialogue being improvised in performance



The multi-talented Dalang at work
Coffee and Pastry - Casa Luna Bakery Dinner in the garden - Cafe Wayan Out for a walk - stop for a cold drink
The Kecak and Fire Dance.  Padang Tegal, Ubud

 

The Kecak, choreographed by Walter Spies in 1930 is an astonishing performance.  Taking place after sunset it starts with the blessing of offerings and the lighting of a central candelabra.  Suddenly, the quiet is shattered by the cries of a hundred or more men men, who run on to the stage chanting the ritual sounds "chak a chak a chak"

They form a circle around the candelabra, opening and closing the circle with movements of head, arms and torso.  Chanting and shouting, the choir use their voices as an orchestra.  Scenes from the Ramayana are enacted in the center of the circle

 

In a trance the Saghyang Jaran dancer on the right, astride his coconut palm hobby horse, walks over red hot coconut husks to chase away the spirits of sickness and death
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