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Monday, April 16, 2012

Bali Art Center

Bali Art Center known aTaman Budaya Ardha Chandra located at Kesiman sub-district, municipality ofDenpasar. More precisely is at the southern end of the Nusa Indah street of East Denpasar city. Three accesses can be taken to reach the area; one is from Sanur taking Jalan Hang Tuah from where bigger cars can enter, or from the crossroad of Jalan Gianyar and Gatot Subroto which is preferable to go with traffic flows already in line as in Indonesia including Bali the line is on the left. Third access is from west Denpasar city which are available many roads, but all are difficult due to the dense traffic, only smaller cars such as taxi or minivan are suggested to access art center from the west.

Geographically today Ardha Chandra looks lay in the center of Denpasar city, due to the extension of the east Denpasar further east, up to the border with Gianyar Regency, a distance of more than 5 km east and with the opening of beach road to the east Bali the extension of the city is even further east along the road. Before 2000 the Kecak dance was presented at one of the corner of Ardha Chandra, and due to the difficulty for bigger bus then organizer of the dance moved the stage to the new place just on the right side of main road from Sanur to Kesiman.

Taman Budaya architecturally is a complex of buildings with the main mark of a big open stage. Designed by a traditional Balinese architect Ida Bagus Pugur, opened for public in 1973. Besides the traditional open stage there are many buildings and hall constructed in Balinese architecture with finest decoration. These buildings are consisting of two types, one type is for permanent exhibition and others are for seasonal exhibition, especially duringBali Art Festival of June every year. Two buildings with the finest Bali architecture are for permanent exhibition where one can see various art of Bali from dance facilities or figures, carvings, clothing arts, paintings, and others.

In the North is located the Gedung Kriya Uccaihsrawa building where thefine arts exhibition are held. Balinese and foreign artists exhibit there. To The West of Gedung Kriya lies the two story Dewi Ratih Building, which is used during the Bali Art Festival for an architectural exhibition on the first floor and a photography exhibition on the second floor.

But the largest structure (7200 m2) by far is the giant crescent shaped Ardha Candra Amphitheater. A magnificent Candi Kurung's gates, through which the dancers enter the stage, make up the background of the performances. The atmosphere is particularly impressive during the full moon or under the light of the projectors. This theatre, completed in 1977, can hold up to 600 people. Underneath the stage, facing North, West and ticketing offices and handicraft exhibition rooms for the various regencies of the island.

To the west of Ardha Candra Amphitheater is the Ksirarnawa closed theatre, which occupies a 5850 square meter surface on two floors. The theatre can contain up to 800 people, which is located on the second floor. The first one is occupied by the offices of the Art Center, a cafeteria, and several is also used for various handicraft exhibitions, the turnover of which is increasing from year to year, and they play a large role in the increase in non oil exports. Visiting hours are 8 a.m. to 5 pm, Tuesday to Sunday.

During Bali Art Festival the whole buildings are filed with exhibition of all type of products, not only art products but also history, books, daily needs, creative products, governments departments with their duties and others. A real bustling situation during one month of the feast. The activities at the open stage even more lively, as scheduled life shows present their representatives from traditional dance or drama or pantomime from Bali, other Indonesian provinces and foreign participants. Loyal foreign participants so far such as India, Thailand, USA, France, Australia, Japan, and Korea. New country such as Vietnam and Cambodia have also actively participating.

The most interesting moment is during the opening of the art festival, which is always started from Puputan City square with procession of dances, music, decorations, marshal art and others, finishing at Renon city square where invited high officials and foreign officials are waiting in a temporary set up Bali traditional pavilions with thatched roof. Along the way the procession which consist of various artists show their actions or dance catch up by many TV stations or journalists. The procession usually started at 9 pm and finishes 12 noon marking the start of a month long art festival. The livelihood of the situation can be seen both at the exhibition and at the open stage starting from the night of the opening ceremony with the procession.

Every evening or night has been scheduled the turn of each representative to present their show which is normally has been confirmed long before the event. During the day the open stage also not always rest, but sometimes the school or universities will fill with many activities such as life drum band, drama or any other art activities they can present. Beside normal show there are also kinds of competition among the same traditional music of Bali such as Gong, and the winner will be given the appreciation. It is a pity that Dinas Kebudayan Provinsi Bali is still not yet develops despite the fact of the modern technology that already freely available in Bali with cheap price.

This situation making the information about Bali Art Festival is not yet widely known by the people. Although the people know that the art festival is organized regularly every year during June, but detailed information on the activity schedule is hard to find. It is probably lack of professional manager or staff that has made this big job never known by most of the visitors to Bali and even by tour organizers.

Bali Art Center Map


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