Mekar Bhuana is proud to be working with some of the most talented teachers in the field of classical Balinese performing arts. Our senior teachers are viewed as experts in what they do and in some cases represent the only generation alive who know the repertoire which they learned from the old guru.
Fortunately, we have managed to recruit experienced, talented and, most importantly, enthusiastic teachers who are the hope for the current generation of those who love these desperately endangered art forms.
I Wayan Mandra – Pelegongan / Bebarongan
A student of the renowned Kecug of Kelandis, Denpasar, Mandra has been teaching Pelegongan around Sanur since the 1960s. Originally from Br. Singgi, Sanur, he is one of the few Pelegongan musicians who still remember the Kelandis repertoire mentioned by ethnomusicologist Colin McPhee in his magnum opus ‘House in Bali’. Mandra is doubtless one of the most knowledgeable and capable kendang players in the Sanur region.
I Made Sumara – Semara Pagulingan
Pak Dek, from Pagan Kelod, is an experienced kendang and Pelegongan teacher and teaches many groups all over Denpasar. His knowledge of the kotekan patterns of the ancient Semar Pegulingan repertoire is essential to the reconstruction of this near-forgotten playing style.
I Wayan Sadera – Gender Wayang, Tingklik, Pelegongan and Semar Pegulingan
Sadera, their youngest gamelan teacher, from Teges Kanginan, Peliatan, is a gender and tingklik expert. He is one of only two musicians from his village who can still play the old-fashioned Teges Gender Wayang style. His methodical teaching technique makes learning even the most difficult gamelan music clear and understandable. He can also teach the Teges Kanginan style of pelegongan and semar pegulingan.
I.G.A. Susilawati – Legong
“Ibu Agung”, as she is known by her many students, was one of Lotring’s prized dancers. Now a senior teacher at SMK3 (formerly SMKI/KOKAR), she is popular with foreign students eager to learn the old styles of Legong. She knows eight different Legong themes and can also teach the dances of the ancient Gambuh theatre. She has toured overseas many times since 1969 and in 1994 was honoured with the Seni Kerti Budaya Award for dance.
Putu Evie Suyadnyani – Legong
Young and naturally gifted, Evie was trained under the late Ni Reneng of Kedaton and I.G.A. Susilawati. She was first-prize winner of the prestigious Legong Condong competition for all of Bali in 1993 and has been teaching since junior high school. Evie has extensive experience teaching foreigners and has also danced and played gamelan overseas. She is the founder of the dance component of Mekar Bhuana.