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
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Jessica Chastain demands Scarlett Johansson-fronted Marvel superhero movie
Downton Abbey series 5 start date revealed: ITV drama to return in late September
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
How to read Will Self: Unlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
New Netflix releases: Films and TV shows coming in September 2014
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain