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Balinese as Audience  

by on Thursday, 12 July 2007No Comment | 619 views

Watching a dance or drama performance for a Balinese is neither a matter of concentrated attention to what happen on the stage nor paying attention to the story in order to understand plot. It is a state of being, feel and enjoy the performance rather than action to ‘watch’ the performance. When Balinese ‘watch’ a performance they do not gaze with earnestness of purpose which will result on fatigue long before the performance is over. To Balinese dance and drama performance is a familiar landscape, they know what to expect, they know how a dancer or a character should moves on the stage, how long a dancer should hold a position or when he or she glances to the right or left.


While watching a performance Balinese can do so many things such as criticizing technical point, admiring pretty girl on the front row, flirting, talking with a friend, buying a snack from the walking sellers or eating. As nature which does not make perpetual demands on one attention, so does a dance or drama performance to Balinese. It exists to be enjoyed in various ways.


The story or plot of a performance does not trouble the Balinese in the least. They do not mind what point is taken up, nor at what point is left. The quality of a performance never depends on the story, since for Balinese there is no bad or good story. How well the story is performed is what matter most.

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