Purnama Sari Balinese Dance Company performs for
East Hawaii Cultural Center

By Isaac Frazer, Big Island Weekly
Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The East Hawaii Cultural Center in Hilo hosted a day of drama and
mysticism through the art of dance on March 14, with stunning
performances by Surapsari and Indra of the Purnama Sari Balinese Dance

The duo performed their cultural dances for an intimate crowd in the
upper theatre space. The colorful, jeweled costumes matched with
elaborately decorated masks and headdresses brought a vibrant and
curious energy to the audience members. "Through our performance, we
intend to convey the intricate beauty and mystery of Balinese culture,"
Surapsari said.

Balinese dance was created and has been performed as the offering to
the Deities of Bali. The dance also helps celebrate the rich culture and
history or the Balinese people.

Today this is still the case in Bali, as every temple anniversary is
celebrated with sacred dances.  The art form of Balinese dance is also an
integral part of the Balinese village lifestyle and everyday entertainment,
as well as a very important aspect of their spiritual life.

"We carefully follow the traditions of prayers and purification rituals
connected to the dances to better deliver a genuine presentation. The
dancers and stage are purified with holy water before the performance.
The dancers pray for a harmonious performance without interference from
the 'Buta-kala', forces of the underworld," Surapsari said.

Balinese dance goes as far back as Balinese written history, with much of
the heritage originating from Java. The stories that are told in the dance
convey this long history and depict cultural events and activities that
happened along the way. Even everyday life is represented in the dance.

"Each dance piece is not an expression of the dancer's creativity or inner
world. The Balinese dancer needs to become a vessel to accommodate
the particular archetype of the dance. In this way, the audience witnesses
'Niskala', the world of spirits, through 'Sekala', the dancer's body,"
Surapsari said. "Balinese dance holds a power to awaken the viewer to
his/her inner world. It is always very touching to meet those in our
audience who are deeply affected by our work."
Copyright © 2013 Purnama Sari Balinese Dance Company.
All rights reserved.
For many first-time viewers and other audience members, this performance has done just that.  Keith Mensy of Volcano said: "I found the
performance so rewarding, healing and awesome. The costumes were terrific and expressed dance. The beginning was really hypnotic and the
dances really captured me toward the end."

Karen Kemp, an audience member from Chicago said: "I thought it was a wonderful cultural experience. I really enjoyed it."

a Balinese mask dance and shadow puppet theatre for children put on with a guest artist, Lee Michael Walczuk, on Sunday.

The Purnama Sari Balinese Dance Company will be performing again this week and weekend at the lower Puna venue called S.P.A.C.E. in
Kalapana Seaview Estates. On March 19, Surapsari will invite participants to explore Balinese mysticism through basic dance movement and
rituals. No previous dance experience is necessary and both men and women are welcome. The workshop fee is $12. On March 21, Purnama
Sari will perform for general audience with admission prices set at $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. Visit
http://www.PurnamaSariBali.com or send an e-mail to info@PurnamaSariBali.com for more information on the upcoming events.