Rare 1930s Bali temple dance film on show in Britain
Friday 15 April 2011
Rare photographs and footage of traditional Balinese dances from the 1930s go on show tomorrow at the Horniman Museum in London.
They form the centre-piece of the most extensive exhibition of Balinese arts and culture ever held in this country and which explores the central role temple and secular dances in the Indonesian island’s society.
The 4,000-odd photographs and 35mm films were collected by Bloomsbury Group scholar and dance critic Beryl de Zoete and Walter Spies, the painter and choreographer credited with putting Bali under the Western spotlight.
Spies lived in Bali until his death in 1942, and was famously beloved by the locals. It is his influence and friendship with the Balinese that is thought to have enabled some of temple dances (which would normally have been performed at night) to be recorded on film.
Contemporary footage of the various dances – including trance and Kris dances-, modern Balinese costumes and artefacts will be on show beside their 1930s equivalents to illustrate how the traditions have altered in the last 70 years.
“The modern costumes which we collected are much more elaborate than those from the Thirties,” the exhibition’s curator Fiona Kerlogue said.
“I think the same is true of the choreography. Obviously the essentials are the same, they still perform the same steps at the same ceremonies, but they’ve been refined and embellished.”
Other highlights include a never-previously-exhibited artworks by Spies and Balinese artists he endorsed, a full and lavishly decorated Gamelan orchestra, Rangda masks, shadow puppets, sculptures and textiles depicting legends from Bali’s Hindu tradition.
‘Bali- dancing for the gods’ is at the Horniman Museum from 16 April until 8 January 2012. For a full programme of events and performances linked to the exhibition visit www.horniman.ac.uk
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This is what happens when you tattoo Charmander on yourself, drunk, and with no experience
- 2 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'