Mekar Bhuana Conservatory
Om swastiastu – we warmly welcome you to Mekar Bhuana. A family founded conservatory, our vision is to support traditional Balinese gamelan music and dance that is rarely seen or heard. We achieve this by working with the Balinese, researching, studying, documenting and reconstructing. Then we educate people, particularly the younger generation, to encourage awareness about the beauty of these endangered art-forms.
To help support our efforts and educate the wider public, we offer professional gamelan and dance lessons, as well as workshops. These lessons and workshop programmes have been especially designed based on our extensive overseas teaching experience and knowledge.
The results of our projects are audio and video recordings, as well as performances – we have 10 troupes which have performed extensively, including at major events and festivals. Hiring our troupes supports our ongoing documentation, reconstruciton and study activities.
Mekar Bhuana’s Semara Pagulingan troupe (Semara Pagulingan Mekar Bhuana on FB) will perform at this year’s Bali Arts Festival on July 9th at 2pm on the Ayodya Stage (an intimate outdoor stage at the back of the large outdoor Arda Candra theatre).
They will present rare and previously extinct semara pagulingan repertoire from four different Denpasar village styles. As always, Mekar Bhuana is attempting to bring village styles to the forefront and keep them alive, as very few people, including Balinese, know about the existence of this extremely rare yet incredibly beautiful music – products of a time when Bali was a much slower paced and more natural place. Uniquely the troupes’s current members are made up of both sexes and a range in age from 7 to 70 years old.
Don’t miss the performance, as unlike most other performances at the Bali Arts Festival, complete information about the structure, modes and historical background of the repertoire will be provided in brochure format, kindly sponsored by Balinese company Xb Printing. And since it will be performed on a complete court orchestra (including saron, gentorag, gumank, kempyung, kangsi and suling gambuh) that is more than 100 years old, it will be an aural treat for lovers of fine Balinese classical music.
This year Mekar Bhuana’s semara pagulingan troupe will be coached by I Wayan Suweca (senior ISI lecturer and Balinese gamelan expert) and I Made Sumara (leader of the Pagan Kelod semara pagulingan group).
Whilst there is a small contribution from the festival as a token performance fee, this does not cover Mekar Bhuana’s costs in preparation for this performance which involves not only hours of practice, but months of reconstruction (the troupe is reconstructing Bramara, for example, from the singing of an 85-year-old gentleman who remembers the repertoire orally from his grandfather), as well as professional coaching.
To help fund this worthy project Mekar Bhuana gladly accepts donations which can either be made directly via our Sponsors & Patrons Page or by purchasing products from our online store. Shop now for your favorite gamelan, dance or puppetry products to support Semara Pagulingan Mekar Bhuana’s performance at the 2013 Bali Arts Festival!