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Welcome Dance  

by on Saturday, 12 January 2008No Comment | 825 views

During the heyday of tourism in Bali around 70s and 80s, the visitors to the paradise island usually had a chance or two to be showered by flowers by a group of girls with golden shiny costume holding a bowl of colorful flowers who danced the “Welcoming Dance” either in the hotel lobby or in airport. The Panyembrama (Welcoming) dance is a standard welcome dance that is always performed first in a dance program and regularly performed at Ngurah Rai Airport when distinguished guests from Jakarta or foreign dignitaries arrive.

The Panyembrama (Welcoming) dance is a purely secular dance that was created in 1967 by I Gusti Gede Raka, a well-known dance teacher form the village of Saba, in Gianyar regency’ based on the movement of the sacred rejang dance. After some reworking by I Wayan Beratha in 1970, the Panyembrama (Welcoming) dance reached its present form.

The piece in its original form is performed by five female dancers (the form which is used to welcome distinguished guests or foreign dignitaries is performed by more than 20 dancers). The dancers, who wear an elaborate costume based on simpler Rejang costume, carry bowls of flower petals and burning incense. The dancers performed in front of the guest to honor the guests with simple yet elegance movements. At the conclusion of the dance, the dancers throw flower petals towards the guests.

After the success of Panyembrama (Welcoming), other welcome dances were choreographed: Puspawresti (Rain of Flowers) dance and Sekar Jagat (Flower of the World). Both of these dance is conclude with the dancers strewing flowers towards the audiences as a gesture of respect.

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