A family founded centre, our vision is to document, reconstruct and repatriate rare or extinct Balinese gamelan music and dance. We achieve this through research and study, then we educate through workshops, lessons and performances. Some people may think that Balinese gamelan and dance art-forms are well preserved because there are still many ceremonies in Bali; however, they are not looking at the details. Based on serious long-term research, we look at the details of Balinese gamelan music and dance and encourage others to see and appreciate these differences and the importance of documenting and reconstructing them for future generations.
Our study programmes have been especially designed based on our extensive overseas teaching experience and knowledge to encourage awareness about the beauty and importance of these indigenous art-forms. Taking workshops and lessons with us supports our projects and research. These programmes also encourage participants to become more aware about the environment in Bali. We have an anti one-use plastic and plastic bag policy; we make our own compost; we also organise accommodation within walking distance to our centre to reduce our carbon foot-print. As of July 21st 2017, our director, Putu Evie, is also the chairperson of Trash Hero Kertalangu in our local area.
Central to the aims of Mekar Bhuana are the tangible results of our projects, including audio and video recordings as well as reconstructed performances using antique instruments. See how you can help by visiting our Sponsors & Patrons page. Hiring our troupes also supports our ongoing documentation, reconstruction and study activities.
Check out videos of our first Semara Patangian performance in Aotearoa New Zealand! This was a historic performance because it was the first time since around 1968 that Kapi Raja had been performed in the original Kuta style, and it was also the first time Balinese gamelan and dance had ever been presented at the Wellington Railway Station. We drew quite a crowd for a cold, rainy Wellington day!:
Gamelan Semara Course Three
Our third Gamelan Semara course for beginners is currently running at Miramar & Maupuia Community Centre (MMCC) in Wellington on Thursday nights. We had 24 in Course 1, 25 in Course 2 and already 27 have enrolled in Course 3, so spaces are very limited, but you can still join for drop-ins! Contact Vaughan on email@example.com or via Whatsapp (02040914801) about prices.
Dance Tutorial Available Soon on Mp4
This video tutorial is an independent project from 2010 that Evie did with the help of her “bule” hubby Vaughan @wayanpon.smara and her little sis Ayu @reehanna1801 (who was her private assistant at the time because she had just given birth to her second child), as well as of course other family members, our young dancers, a videographer friend and Maharani Record who let us be on their label.
Initially, this project was inspired by our first child, Gede Semara @semara.richard_gede, who – when we were bringing him up in New Zealand – learned Balinese dance on his own (at one and a half years old) from watching our VCD collection of Balinese dances that we sent to our family via friends from New Zealand who happened to be holidaying in Bali.
In the end we also created our own video as an effort to document terms for the basic movements of Balinese dance in Balinese that all the guru use, as well as, of course, helping to keep the Balinese language alive.
Over time, this DVD tutorial became very useful for students who studied at Mekar Bhuana, and we would include it as a souvenir in our workshop study package. I also used this DVD to help students who have studied online with us via Skype so that they can learn from the DVD before they take online lessons.
It seems that this pandemic has given Evie a lot of time to improve this tutorial that is also a documentation project in itself. In the near future, we are going to convert it to an Mp4 that can be accessed via a link we will share to those who are kind enough to donate to our ongoing documentation and reconstruction projects. We will also post some of the dance moves randomly on our social media platforms as well as on Mekar Bhuana’s YouTube channel. So keep following us and don’t forget to subscribe!