A self-defined ‘music archaeologist’ and ethnomusicologist, Vaughan’s experience of 20 years living and researching gamelan music in Bali is poured into the explanation and demonstration component of private and group workshops. In 2013, he and Putu Evie taught semara pagulingan music and dance as world music artists in residence for three months at Toronto University. Vaughan also performs gender wayang, selonding, angklung, semara pagulingan, pelegongan and bebarongan music, as well as makes iron practice instruments which are sometimes demonstrated at Mekar Bhuana workshops. Founder of Mekar Bhuana in 2000, he also assists Putu Evie to explain the history of Balinese dance in dance workshops.
A specialist in rare gamelan music such as genggong and gambuh, he is our main gamelan instructor. Known as “Pur” by friends and students, he is from a long line of gamelan musicians and dancers in his home village of Batuan, and has been playing gamelan music since and early age. he represented Gianyar Regency gong kebyar troupe for seven years running in his youth and won on three occasions. In 2015 graduated from ISI Denpasar with a major in composition, and is now deeply involved with the reconstruction process at Mekar Bhuana as an understudy of co-founder, Vaughan Hatch.
A naturally gifted dancer and singer, 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. In 2013, she and Vaughan Hatch taught semara pagulingan music and dance as world music artists in residence for three months at Toronto University. She is the founder of the dance component of Mekar Bhuana.
Known as ‘Mamik’, Komang is Putu Evie’s aunt and original dance teacher, she is the motherly figure in the dance instructor line-up at our centre. She helps Evie to demonstrate female Balinese dance and has a very patient and refined teaching technique. Apart from teaching at Mekar Bhuana, she still teaches groups of young local children twice weekly at the dance foundation at Tanjung Sari Hotel in Sanur.
Internationally acclaimed gambuh and mask dancer, Made Suteja is more popularly known as “Made Cat” because he is also a talented traditional painter (cat = paint). He is the son of famous dancer, Made Bukel, who is known for his strict and effective teaching technique. While Made is a very serious teacher, he is also a humorist and this comes out clearly in his improvisations when dancing comic characters.