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Holy Cross Balinese Gamelan Orchestra to Hold Spring Concert  

by on Friday, 28 April 2006No Comment | 1,783 views

Gamelan Gita SariWORCESTER, Mass. * The Holy Cross departments of theatre and music will present the spring concert of their famed Balinese gamelan orchestra, Gamelan Gita Sari, under the directorship of visiting fellow in Balinese performing arts, I Wayan Dibia, on April 28 at 8 p.m. in the Brooks Concert Hall. This concert will feature a lively roster of guest artists, including Ni Made Wiratini, Ni Nyoman Manik Suryani, I Nengah Susila, Ni Made Pujawati, I Nyoman Saptanyana, and Ida Ayu Ari Candrawati. These semi-annual concerts, free and open to the public, are routinely standing room only and provide for a thrilling evening of Balinese music and dance.

Gamelan Gita Sari was founded in 1999. Gita Sari translates as “the essence of song.” The company is composed entirely of students and faculty from the College. The group performs on its Gong Kebyar gamelan, built for Holy Cross in 1998 by master Balinese craftsman Pande Made Sukerta. Following a blessing ceremony in Mengwitani, the gamelan was shipped to Massachusetts, where a second ceremony was conducted in July 1999. This coincided with Holy Cross being awarded a Henry Luce Foundation Grant to fund a Balinese scholar-artist-in-residence for four years.

Gamelan Gita Sari has performed at Brown University, at Wesleyan University, for the New Hampshire Humanities Council, and for the conference Continuities and Change: A Celebration of Balinese Music, Theatre and Dance at Holy Cross, as well as holding two concerts a year at Holy Cross. Members of the ensemble have played and danced at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Bard College. I Wayan Dibia of the Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI) is the second appointment and continues the exchange program established six years ago. Desak Made Suarti Laksmi of ISI was the first to hold the post.

Dibia is one of the world’s most distinguished performers, composers, and choreographers of Balinese music and dance. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA and has held a professorship in Balinese choreography at the prestigious National College of Indonesian Arts in Denpasar, Bali. He is the author of Kecak: The Balinese Vocal Change of Bali and the seminal text and guidebook, Balinese Dance, Drama, and Music. He is a member of the Bali Art Council and the Society of Indonesian Performing Arts. He has performed in a variety of international tours in Australia, Europe, and the United States.

For more information about the concert and Gamelan Gita Sari, contact Joe Mader at 508-793-3490.

The College of the Holy Cross ( is the oldest Catholic college in New England. Founded in 1843 by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), Holy Cross is a highly selective, four-year, undergraduate liberal arts institution and ranks among the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges.

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