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Jakarta Post

Reviving Gambuh in Nusa Penida

  • Luh De Suriyani

    The Jakarta Post

Denpasar   /   Thu, June 21 2012   /  09:22 am

Loaded with fiery spirit and high confidence, nine middle-aged Gambuh actors and dancers from Nusa Penida put on a display of their island’s traditional dance on an open stage at the ongoing Bali Arts Festival (PKB) last week in Denpasar for the first time.

The dancers, all in their 50s, have been performing their reconstructed Nusa Penida Gambuh dance-
drama during religious ceremonies at temples for dozens of years.

The island of Nusa Penida is known for being the home to many sacred temples, which is why whenever religious holidays are celebrated, many Hindu Balinese from the main island cross over to Nusa Penida to pray.

The Gambuh dance is a wali dance and considered sacred, and has existed since the prehistoric era of Hindu Bali. Gambuh is the oldest form of traditional dance-drama on the island.

“This is the revival of our artistic heritage. Nu...