The Jakarta Post
Balinese women carry a traditional offering during a cultural parade. (The Jakarta Post/Agung Parameswara)
Indonesia’s longest-running art festival Bali Arts Festival will kick off on June 15, featuring the richness of Balinese art and culture until July 13.
Tens of thousands of Balinese artists are slated to take part in the 41st festival, which will celebrate wind as a source of life through the theme “Bayu Pramana: Memuliakan Sumber Daya Angin” (Glorifying Wind Resources).
A street parade will mark the opening of the festival on June 15, featuring more than 1,500 performers on Jl. Raya Puputan Renon Denpasar, encircling the Bajrasandhi monument. Other than showcasing art and cultural performances from across Bali, the parade will involve art troupes from other parts of the archipelago and abroad, such as Papua, Sumenep in East Java, India and China.
The festival will be officially opened by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on the evening of June 15 after the street parade.
The opening ceremony will be held at the Werddhi Budaya Art Center, a spacious cultural compound in East Denpasar that will host the festival.
Besides art performances, visitors can expect to marvel at art and handicraft exhibitions, workshops, seminars, competitions and culinary events of authentic Balinese cuisine.
Bali Governor Wayan Koster emphasized that all activities during the festival would uphold the theme of Bayu Pramana.
"Hopefully this year's festival will be well organized and much better than the previous year,” Governor Wayan Koster said after the festival's preparation meeting in Denpasar on Monday.
The Bali Arts Festival was first held in 1979 when then-governor Ida Bagus Mantra decided that the government should provide the space and funding to promote local culture nurture an aesthetic community. (kes)
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