It’s been such a busy Bali so far– so writing on the blog is challenging to make time for. There are so many more interesting things to do than type at a computer, but it is also great fun to share some of what’s been happening. What follows is a quick summary, told partly in pictures—how many pictures, the internet speed will determine. (Please forgive awkward formatting.. the computer’s being a bit unforgiving at present.)
Day 1. Arrival. The trip from the airport in Denpasar is relatively quick. We get in slightly later than anticipated, and go out for dinner at a warung down the street. Sleep is welcomed.
Day 2. Orientation. I see my room by daylight! After breakfast the whole group meets at the Wantilung at the hotel to get some of the basics of our schedule. For me, every day will include a daily warmup, a class in topeng dance, and mask carving.
In the afternoon, we gather essentials, including sarongs and sashes for attending temple ceremonies. We have a nice opening buffet dinner in downtown Ubud.
Day 3. Getting Some Perspective. We travel to a famous carver’s home in village of Mas. His name is I.B. Anom. He tells us about the general process of mask carving, the differences of process in the creation of sacred and profane masks. He also shares his gallery with us.
Below are some images of his work.
After we look at many masks, we head to a nice hot springs to
recover from jet lag. It was a couple of hours in a crowded van, but it was worth it.
And so we ended the last day before classes.
Day 4. Topeng!
We have a great dance class with Gustu. Balinese dance has a lot to do with arms and legs. More on that later.
We arrive at our teacher Nyoman’s house with only a little difficulty and a couple of confused Balinese neighbors.
He is a charming man with a great laugh. We look at his studio, and prepare to work, but not before the drinking from the coconuts he offers.
He is a great help! Once we (quickly) decide what we will carve, he gets us started.
We work for several hours as rains come and go. We carve while sitting on the floor, holding the mask between our feet.
I have decided to carve an old man half-mask. If I am fast enough, I will make a second in a different style.
Later that evening I am beginning to feel poorly. We see a kecak performance by a local banjar and then a fire trance. Intense.
Day 5. Officially Ill. I stay in bed all day with a fever, sleep, and a few episodes of Downton Abbey. I’m better now.
Day 6. Continuing Classes. Feeling better, I observe the dance class and continue carving.
Now I am headed off to class! Selamat siang!
This trip funded in part by a grant from RACC.
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