Balinese Culture and Transformation

statueWake up in Paradise… to art, culture and transformation!
The magic of Bali is enchanting and uplifting. Surround yourself with the most stunning beauty. You’ll discover lush tropical forests, joyous people, lyrical local music playing live in every obscure corner, and fresh flower offerings on every doorstep. At night you’ll hear Gamelon music floating in the air with the mystical incense. You’ll wake up to exotic bird songs you’ve never heard before.
Bali is a small, visually dramatic island where water and earth are fed by fire (volcano).
Located eight degrees south of the equator, in the midst of the 17,000 islands of the Indonesian Archipelago, it is the most popular island in Indonesia where 93% of the island people adhere to Balinese Hinduism. Balinese culture is renowned for its diverse and sophisticated art forms, such as painting, sculpture, woodcarving, handcrafts, and performing arts. Balinese percussion orchestra music, known as gamelan, is highly developed and varied. Balinese performing arts often portray stories from Hindu epics.  We’ll be seeing some of the famous Balinese dances such as Legong or Kecak (the monkey dance) very exciting including a mystical fire dancer in trance. Bali boasts one of the most diverse and innovative performing arts cultures in the world, with paid performances at temple festivals and private ceremonies

littledrummersThe marriage of art and spirit will open the mysterious world of Bali within you. Many celebrations call for a loud, boisterous atmosphere with lots of activity and often times with two or more gamelon ensembles performing well within earshot. They compete with each other in order to be heard. Likewise, the audiences members talk amongst themselves, get up and walk around, or even cheer on the performance, which adds to the many layers of activity and liveliness.

Gods and ancestors are believed to live on the mountain whereas demons live in the sea. Buildings such as temples and residential homes are spatially oriented by having the most sacred spaces closest to the mountain and the unclean places nearest to the sea.

mujiMost temples have an inner courtyard and an outer courtyard. These spaces serve as performance venues since most Balinese rituals are accompanied by any combination of music, dance, and drama. The performances that take place in the inner courtyard are the most sacred rituals: offerings exclusively for the gods; the outer courtyard is where ceremonies are held which are intended for gods and people.
Our main lodging will be nestled in the village of Ubud, the cultural center of the”island of the Gods” and the setting for the book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. The movie by the same name with Julia Roberts opens in 2011.
Travel beyond conventional borders and expand your worldview, for Bali is a place of culture and transformation.

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