Balinese Music, Art, & Culture Tours
Join us in June 2018 for a guided and personalized educational and cultural tour of Bali, led by ethnomusicologist Elizabeth McLean Macy and Balinese master drummer and composer I Made Lasmawan.
This 10-day tour of Bali (with optional additional time) will provide a range of experiences across the island, from a cultural homestay in a traditional Balinese music and dance studio, to tours of Ubud (the famed cultural center of the island) and Candidasa (a fishing village in east Bali).
The unique history and culture of Bali are best understood through the arts, which connect past to present, self to community, and religion to reality. We seek to provide an experience of Balinese culture grounded in history, arts, the environment, and practice - integrating instruction in music, dance, painting, cooking, and wood-carving into our tours. You will come to know Balinese arts and culture through participation in daily life, attendance at performances, and lecture-demonstrations by artists and craftsmen.
Our aim is to provide a personalized experience, catering to your individual preferences as best we can according to the Balinese concept of desa, kala, patra - place, time and circumstance.
Bali Dewata, island of the gods, is one of some 17,000 islands (with 6,000 inhabited) that make up the Indonesian archipelago. The primary tourist destination for all of Indonesia, Bali is small in size (the island is densely populated, with over 4.2 million inhabitants living on 2,000 square miles of land), but it packs a cultural punch. While today Indonesia is the largest Muslim-majority country in the world, most of the island’s inhabitants in Bali practice Balinese Hinduism (Agama Hindu Dharma or Agama Tirta, religion of the holy water), a syncretic blend of Hinduism, Buddhism, and animism (a belief in place spirits).
In order to introduce you to all that Bali has to offer, we are based out of Sanggar Manik Galih (a music and dance studio founded by master drummer, musician, and composer I Made Lasmawan and his wife, dancer Ni Ketut Marni). The sanggar is located in the village of Bangah di Baturiti, in the regency of Tabanan in the central mountains of Bali. The village of Bangah has strong connections to the neighboring Beratan Lake to the north, which waters the village's rice fields using Bali's suback system (an UNESCO World Heritage site).
Balinese music - gamelan - is rooted in the royal courts, religious practice, and Hindu culture and mythology. This sophisticated cyclic music is analogous to the life-cycle elements of Balinese Hinduism, where life itself is cyclic. Our tour of Bali will emphasize religious practice, Hindu culture and mythology, and the importance of the arts for the maintenance of Balinese life and culture. Our time in Bali coincides with the annual Pesta Kesenian Bali (the Bali Art Festival) in Denpasar, as well as the Karangasem Festival in east Bali.
We aim to provide an experience like no other. Drawing on our shared years and expertise guiding people around Bali and introducing them to the island, its culture, and the beautiful people who inhabit this space, we want to share our Bali with you. From cultural workshops, lessons, and lectures, to performances, tours, and tailored day trips, we will work with you to develop a tour that leaves you wanting to return again and again.